Favorited ex.fm Songs

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Music for Marriage Equality / Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

In Washington state, a bill that would have legalized same sex marriage was signed into law last February. However, before that could become reality, opponents gathered signatures to force a referendum on the issue in this coming election. Since many of my favorite artists hail from the Northwest, I've seen quite a bit from a group called Music for Marriage Equality. A few weeks ago, Ben Gibbard (lead singer of Death Cab for Cutie / The Postal Service) filmed a short ad voicing his support of marriage equality. This set off the people of Westboro Baptist Church who chose to protest outside one of his shows and claimed that he was wearying "God’s servants at the WBC with his hateful words and hard speeches." That's not exactly how I would think to describe Ben Gibbard or Death Cab for Cutie, but I'm pretty sure I disagree with Westboro Baptist on just about everything, so oh well.

Where am I going with all of this? Well first off, I think this is an extremely important issue, and I'm glad to see all of the support Pacific Northwest musicians are throwing behind it and how respectfully they are doing it. I know that it's a tricky issue for some people because they see it as so closely tied to their religious beliefs, but it seems like gay marriage must go beyond that somehow. There are plenty of things that people are legally allowed to do that various religions may see as being disapproved of by a god. If you believe a god doesn't want people to marry someone of the same sex, then you shouldn't marry someone of the same sex. But just as any straight couple's marriage doesn't really affect anyone other than themselves, neither should a gay couple's marriage. Tens of millions of people watch shows like Joe Millionaire, people are married seven or eight times, and adultery occurs all over the place. Preventing two people who care about each other from marrying just because they happen to be the same sex seems like such an arbitrary place to draw a line "defending marriage".

Onto the music though. Just a couple days ago, Seattle based rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis posted a new song called "Same Love." I don't listen to a ton of hip hop, but I really enjoy some of it. In this case, it obviously helps that I support their message, but the song is really solid too. On their website, discussing the song they say:

Unfortunately, intolerance of the gay community in hip hop is widespread. The best rappers will use homophobic language on albums that critics rave about, making hip hop and homophobia inextricably linked. We have sidestepped the issue entirely, become numb to the language that we use, and are increasingly blinded to our own prejudice.


As somebody that believes in equal rights for all humans, you can only watch poison regurgitated for so long.

I am not saying that intolerance is exclusive to hip hop. Hip hop culture is a part of American culture, and America can be scared, fearful, and prejudiced against its own. My intent is not to scrutinize or single out hip hop. It happens to be the culture that has profoundly shaped me, and the one I feel most accountable to.

I don't want to just block quote the whole thing, but there is plenty more good stuff there, and I recommend clicking through to his website and reading the whole thing. Here is the song:

Kids are walking around the hallway
plagued by pain in their heart,
a world so hateful some would rather die
than be who they are.
And a certificate on paper isn't gonna solve it all,
but it's a damn good place to start.

As an added bonus for anyone who may enjoy the first song and/or baseball, here's a song that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis recorded a couple years ago when legendary Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus passed away. It's an amazing tribute to what baseball and Niehaus meant to Macklemore. The duo also has their first full length album coming out in October. Given how much I've enjoyed these two tracks of theirs, I'll be sure to check it out.

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate your support of marriage equality - thanks!