Ben Haggerty, who goes by his stage name Macklemore is very well known for his song ‘Thrift Shop’ (above), produced by Ryan Lewis. It managed to peak at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, selling 7 million copies in total. The song also reached number one in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, the song has garnered more than 400 million views on YouTube. Thrift Shop was used in the trailers for the films ‘Pain & Gain’ and ‘The Internship’.
The song received critical acclaim. Robert Copsey of Digital Spy gave the song 5 out of 5 stars, calling it “a rare beast of a song – original, musically daring and genuinely funny.” Entertainment Weekly named the song as the 18th best single of 2012. Some thrift stores have reported an increase in business, especially among college students, which they have attributed to the song.
Macklemore is a multi award winning artist. Collecting awards from the 2013 MTV Europe Music Awards, Billboard Music Awards, BET Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. He was victorious in winning awards such as Rap Song of the Year and Best Hip-Hop video. I am sure his awards are all carefully and mindfully placed around his home in Seattle, Washington.
As you can clearly see, this artist is a huge success with countless adoring fans all around the world watching his every move and the money flowing in from all his success… which his why his next move was completely confusing.
It is very common for artists, such as Macklemore, to lose their moral compass when the spotlight hits them. When they take centre stage its known that stars tend to get blinded by the flashing lights and distracted by the money. And all of a sudden they have completely lost themselves to the forever hungry entity known as fame. But dear old Ben ..ahem excuse Macklemore is an exception to this rule and seems to have truly kept his moral compass in check. I don’t know how he has done it whether he meditates, listens to Jessie J ‘Who You Are’ on repeat or just gets pulled back down to earth on the regular by his dear mother.
If you have not guessed already I am talking about his song entitled ‘Same Love’. This song was written in support of legalising same-sex marriage particularly in reference to a Washington state referendum to approve or reject the February 2012 bill that would legalise same-sex marriage in the state. Macklemore explained that the song also came out of his own frustration with hip hop’s positions on homosexuality. “Misogyny and homophobia are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture. It’s 2012. There needs to be some accountability. I think that as a society we’re evolving and I think that hip hop has always been a representation of what’s going on in the world right now.”
I must say when I heard this playing on the radio in my flat I was quite surprised at how Mac was so open and honest about everything. He truly bared his soul let us take a look at some of the lyrics in just ‘Same Love’.
“When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
‘Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight….”
“…Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.
I remember doing the math like, “Yeah, I’m good at little league”
A preconceived idea of what it all meant…”
“…The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion…”
“…And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago…”
“…If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
“Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
We become so numb to what we’re saying…”
“…Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board…”
“…It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself…”
“…A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are…”
“…No law is gonna change us
We have to change us…”
As you can see from these extracts I took from Macklemore’s song he truly touches on some very controversial and profound points. He opened up about the time when he thought that he himself was gay and that must of took a lot of courage and a straight man to openly admit that at one point he thought he was attracted to men. He also layed out on the table the fact that his own uncle was a gay man and in a committed and loving relationship. I truly stand up and salute this young man for the courage it took for him as a heterosexual male to take a stand. He put everything on the line to make his point, all of his fame and success could of come to a very sudden and abrupt holt. Thank You Macklemore for your courage and honesty.
‘I might not be the same but that’s not important no freedom til’ we’re equal, damn right I support it’