It is quite possible that the fight for equal rights and marriage equality will be the issue that defines our generation and the decade in which we are immersed. I like to think that a large majority of our peers support equal rights and the LGBT community but, that does not mean the cause hasn’t been met with great opposition. It is often difficult to allow the hate and ignorance of many to fall on deaf ears in an effort to continue on with the campaign, especially when such intolerance is highlighted undeservedly in the news. Many times, we need to work twice as hard to shed light on the good that is being done, the love that is being spread. It just so happens that this type of love has been discovered this week in a song by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert. Let us give credit where credit is due and uncover their sincere kindness.
Ben Haggerty is an acclaimed hip hop artist, more well known as Macklemore, one half of the duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The combination of Haggerty’s insane ability to lay down a lyric and Lewis’ power to produce a serious beat has catapulted them to the top of the charts in recent months. The pair garnered mainstream recognition with their now platinum song, Thrift Shop, which currently sits atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When asked by David Letterman about the track now being touted as possibly the year’s biggest song, Macklemore credited the unique beat, polar opposite lyrics and catchy hook; characteristics that set the hit apart from mainstream rap. While Thrift Shop is certain to be on just about every party playlist in the coming months, there is another, less recognized, song off their album, The Heist that deserves the highest praise. Not only does this track have the aforementioned qualities, giving it the advantage of catching the listener’s attention, it is also, in my humble opinion, one of the most wonderful proclamations of kindness and love that has ever been recorded. Same Love possesses all the qualities of a modern day anthem.
For this particular song, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis teamed up with Mary Lambert, a talented poet and songwriter with a voice that sort of speaks to your heart. The three took to the airwaves to show their support for civil rights and marriage equality through unapologetic discussion of the intolerance the cause and it’s supporters continue to face. The lyrics are the perfect balance of standing up against hate and expressing love.
Make no mistake, even though we have seen a rise in campaigns dedicated to equal rights, it takes a certain courage to use one’s talent and career to express views and support any cause. Let alone one that is unfortunately still so controversial. To put your passion into words that, when spoken, have the ability to affect a generation is no less than love prevailing in the face of hate; it is the truest type of kindness.
It is a ridiculous notion that I could recap the lessons that these thought provoking lyrics so eloquently express, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention some of the overarching messages. Within these lyrics lives a type of lovely kindness we are always hoping exists in the world.
Gay is synonymous with the lesser. Why? Because we still allow a word that describes a human being’s life choice to possess a negative connotation in everyday language. Our words are not just words, they foster stereotypes.
We are repeating history. Society would do well to realize that the hate we are up against is the same hate that caused “wars from religion, gender to skin color, complexion of your pigment. The same hate that led to walk outs and sit ins.” It seems unfathomable when we look back, so why are repeating our mistakes?
No freedom until we are equal. We may not all be the same, but that is not what is important. We can’t be comfortable remaining voiceless; we must all fight for humans who have had their rights stolen. “Human rights for everybody, there is no difference.”
We have to start somewhere. The hate of many results in a pain that plagues not only adults, but our youth. “Kids walking around the hallways plagued with pain in their heart. A world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are.” Marriage equality won’t solve the world’s problems but basic human rights is a pretty good place to get the ball rolling.
Above and beyond Macklemore’s fight for tolerance and understanding, the lovely Mary Lambert brings down the house when she belts out the bridge. Words that she wrote. She almost pleads with us to understand when she sings, “I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to.” and ends by sweetly repeating the famous bible verse “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Again, we uncover unbridled kindness through someone’s willingness to publicize very personal and real feelings in support of others.
To top it off, the Same Love music video doubles as a short film that beautifully displays two men in love, fighting for acceptance, hoping to have their relationship honored like anyone else’s. The expression of support has served as a symbol for activism in Haggerty, Lewis and Lambert’s home state of Washington, where the dedication of many recently resulted in the legalization of gay marriage.
I recommend everyone listen to the song for themselves and find their own beauty in the lyrics, because nothing I could tell you would do them justice. Regardless of your beliefs, it is not hard to agree that Same Love is a brilliant representation of love in the face of hate. The trio’s passion to use their talents and careers to foster acceptance is exactly the type of kindness the world needs more of.
I believe we are all up for the challenge of offering the world a special kindness. In the words of Macklemore, “Strip away the fear, underneath it’s all the same love, about time that we raised up.” Let’s challenge one another to raise up, exhibit this type of kindness and love; the type of kindness that is more than worth searching for and uncovering.
Love is patient, love is kind.
Feature Image via MTV ACT