Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are a hip-hop duo from Seattle who have taken the music world by storm since the independent release of their 2012 album The Heist. The week of the album’s release in October, 2012, it debuted at number two on the Billboard Top 200 charts, right below the number one album of the week, Mumford & Son’s Babel. The band’s incredible debut promptly caused a lot heads to turn. Both music fans and music industry folks who weren’t aware of the duo were asking “Who are Macklemore & Lewis.”
Since the release of The Heist, the duo (rapper Macklemore and producer/DJ Ryan Lewis), have been on Saturday Night Live, recorded an NPR Music All Songs Considered Tiny Desk Concert (watch below), are selling out venues all over the country, and have universally received overwhelmingly positive reviews for the album and their energy. The popularity of the album and band show no signs of slowing down. In fact, last week, the duo’s song “Thrift Shop” had its 12th week as number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, setting the record for the longest-running No. 1 rap song in the chart’s history.
But while “Thrift Shop’s” popularity continues to build, the song “Same Love” (featuring Mary Lambert) is the song from the album that has music fans and supporters of LGBT rights around the world uniting around its message. Thank Ellen DeGeneres who put the song on a broader public stage when she invited the rap duo to sing the song on her show last October. The song became the theme for the Washington State Referendum 74 movement, which ultimately led to the approval of and legalization of the same-sex movement in the State. About the song, Macklemore told Kurt Anderson of Studio 360 that 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.”
Neither gay or African-American, Macklemore is using rap music to bring people together with an important message. “Strip away the fear/Underneath it’s all the same love/About time that we raised up.” Below, listen to the song and be sure to watch the video for “Same Love.”
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