How a straight white rapper from Seattle wrote hip-hop’s first gay anthem.
After 15 years in the game -- a stretch that included popular Seattle club gigs, a self-released record titled The Language of My World in 2005, and bouts with substance abuse -- Macklemore is suddenly on the verge of bona fide success. The artist, now sober, is in the midst of transitioning from a YouTube sensation to a legitimate rapper and entertainer. People are catching on.
The rapper sat and chatted with OUT magazine for its summer June/July issue. Here are a few select quotes; full interview at OUT.com.
On his inspiration for “Same Love”:
“I knew I wanted to write a song about gay rights, about marriage equality, and about homophobia in hip-hop, but I didn’t know how to do it. I tried, at first, writing from the perspective of a gay, bullied kid. That’s what sparked the song in the first place: reading the story of a 13-year-old who committed suicide.”
On the gay influences in his life while growing up:
“Where I grew up, there were huge gay pride parades less than a mile away from me. My dad’s best friend was gay. My barber was gay. My uncles owned this restaurant that was a huge magnet for the gay community. My whole upbringing was around gay people.”
On the response to “Same Love” at various shows:
“Of course, we play it regardless of what we think the response is going to be. There’s been such ground made in terms of acceptance in the hip-hop community. What Barack Obama did, and what Frank Ocean did, and what, hopefully, ‘Same Love’ did is start a conversation.”