Macklemore says there’s been ‘immense growth’ around LGBTQ+ acceptance in hip-hop

American rapper Macklemore wears a green and white outfit as he performs on stage

Macklemore has said there’s been “immense growth” around LGBTQ+ acceptance in hip-hop as more people realise that “hatred and homophobia doesn’t serve anybody”. 

The American rapper discussed his history of supporting queer people and how he’s used his platform as well as his music to advocate for LGBTQ+ equality. 

His song “Same Love” became a hit around the summer of 2013 when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down in the US, and Macklemore used his platform (as well as the song) to advocate for same-sex marriage in Australia in 2017

The rapper told that he believed “society” has evolved by and large, and he said there’s been “immense growth around the acceptance of the LGBTQ community” within hip-hop.

“We are expanding, we are growing and we are realising that hatred and homophobia doesn’t serve anybody,” Macklemore said.

He continued: “So much of it is just what we’ve been conditioned to believe masculinity looks like, right? 

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“Like, if you rap, you need to have women around you, you need to be pulling women, you need to be talking about women. And it’s like, no, you don’t need to be misogynistic. 

“No, you don’t need to be homophobic. You don’t need to do any of that. You never need to put anybody else down to push yourself up. That doesn’t work, it’s an outdated model. So I think that we’re growing.”

Macklemore thought this greater acceptance towards the LGBTQ+ community within hip-hop was inspired by people feeling “freer with themselves and questioning where these biases are coming from”. 

“No child is born like, ‘You know what? If a boy likes a boy, that’s wrong’,” he said. “This is all learned conditional behaviour; we have been taught these things.”

American rapper Macklemore wears a green and white outfit as he performs on stage with a rainbow LGBTQ+ flag seen in the background
Macklemore said the ability for people to feel “freer with themselves” and question bias has helped foster LGBTQ+ acceptance within hip-hop and society. (Getty)

When writing “Same Love”, Macklemore was partially inspired by the experiences of his gay family members, who are mentioned in the first lines of the song. But he also felt inclined to write the rap after reading a news article about a teen who committed suicide after being bullied. 

He told the New York Times that he believed insults used in rap music and denying queer adults the right to marry harmed LGBTQ+ youth.  

“I just wanted to hold myself accountable and hold hip-hop accountable and bring up an issue that was being pushed under the rug,” he said.

In October 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis released a video for “Same Love”. The music video depicted the life of two queer men as they grow up, fall in love, get married and become old together. 

Macklemore wasn’t subtle about the fact that “Same Love” is a queer anthem as he rapped: “No freedom ’til we’re equal/Damn right I support it.”

He used other verses to call out people using organised religion to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. 

Macklemore rapped: “It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion/Gender and skin colour/Complexion of your pigment/The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins/It’s human rights for everybody/There is no difference.”

The “Can’t Hold Us” rapper told that so much “bigotry and bias” in society stems from the “interpretation of words that were written thousands and thousands and thousands of years ago and flipped by humans throughout the course of civilisation”. 

“As we reprogram as a society we’re learning that tolerance and radical acceptance of where anyone is at in their life, and that their sexual preference is 100 per cent their business and has no bearing over anybody else, that is love,” Macklemore said. “The world is better with more love in it.”

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