Smart & Like-Minded Followers

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Same Love

"Brief is life but love is long."- Alfred Lord Tennyson


After hits like 'Thrift Shop' and 'Can’t Hold Us', you would expect indie rapper and producer Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to come out with something fun and refreshing. You would expect them to rap about their popularity and new-found fame, the standard base for almost all rap songs. The 'depth' of most rap songs are descriptions of women to objects such as 'jugs' and 'cars you want to ride in'. Or lyrically sometimes about the 'hard-life' and 'swagger' that most people lack.
So even though I am a huge Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' fan, I somehow fell under the impression that their next single would have to be about their new found success. I was in for a bit of a wake-up call that I guess I wasn't ready for. So you might wonder what does the rags to riches artist-producer release as their next single? It is a song on support for LGBT - Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, and Transgenders.

The song in fact features Seattle-based singer-songwriter and spoken word artist, Mary Lambert. Lambert herself who grew up with sexuality issues, embraced herself at the age of 17. Lambert is a self-proclaimed femme lesbian and wrote the chorus of the song 'Same Love'.  The 'Same Love' chorus draws on Lambert's experiences as a lesbian growing up in a tumultuous Christian upbringing. In the song Mary Lambert repeats the line, "Not crying on Sundays," for example, echoes the way she felt after leaving Sunday services in the Evangelical Church. She wrote the hook for the song in only 2 hours and for her 'coming out' was the best decision of her life. 


A shocking and a very bold move which you would not expect from this genre of music (Rap/Hip-hop). Sure rap legends like Eminem and Lil Wayne have rapped about their problems and struggles but never on sensitive topics such as sexuality. The reason being that genres such as Rap & Hip-Hop are the self-proclaimed 'cool' genres with 'hard-hitting' lyrics of a woman's body. So why would Ben Haggerty a.k.a Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis take such challenge. No matter how much we want to believe that our mindsets are 'modern' and 'different' at the end of the day we all are nothing but a bunch of stereotypes preaching equality but secretly deeming it.



When I heard 'Same Love' for the first time, I didn't know how to react. My body reacted faster than my mind and by the end of the song, I was reduced to tears. But, you see these tears were not out of pity, they were out of sadness. Sadness because we are numb to other people's emotions that we say the ugliest of things without any sort of regard for the after effect. More than sadness, I would say it was guilt for making the word 'gay' such a dirty noun. We crowned the word as a synonym to 'untouchables'. Its in times like this when you question your morals and you wonder how far can your actions be justified. 
From the very traditional starting of piano keys, you would not expect the first line from the song to be ‘When I was in the 3rd grade I thought that I was gay.’ You see that is what separates Macklemore & Ryan Lewis from the conventional group of rappers to the prodigy. They are fearless and yes through music this rap duo questions the norms that our society has been embedded with for generations. And, to be honest no matter how much we believe that our minds has broaden... I'm sorry to say that we are all stuck in the same place. Every time we take 10 steps forwards through innovation and technology, we tend to take 10 steps backwards with our close minded views on 'tradition'.
Tradition in its literal sense means: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially byword of mouth or by practice

Tradition is not religion because believing in something doesn't mean you have faith in it. You believe in the existence of a democratic and just system but do you have faith in its workings?
Today, you will say that I am young and for me this topic is very sensitive and that this predicament is complicated. If so, then why aren't you doing anything to solve it? Help us understand, this oh so complicated theorem of having feelings for the same sex? Most religious institutions call this 'situation' as unnatural because loving the same sex is a direct unbalance of nature. I understand that by 'unnatural' it refers to the fact that only a man and woman can come together to bear a child and that it is not possible for this to occur within the same sex. However, there are alternatives to this like adoption and surrogacy etc. What I mean to say is that our choices define us and we have the right to make our own decision but more than anything we must learn to also respect other people's decisions. That being said. in the name of religion hate crimes are committed and the word of God is used a defense mechanism to justify the social evils that are done to the LGBT community.
Let me ask you one thing though, what is natural in your definition? Is it mercilessly killing people or committing horrific crimes such as rape and honor killing? For me that is not natural. That is pure evil and that is the imbalance of nature not falling in love with the same sex.
I challenge every institution, every religion, every belief including my own catholic belief. If God really loves us so much then I am sure that he would not differentiate between those who like the same sex. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. However, to some extent we are guilty too, we have always condemned gays, teased them, hurt them and then expect equal rights for us all.  A bunch of hypocrites we all are. We are narrow-minded and selfish but deep down when songs like ‘Same Love’ play on the radio we find our humanity and our redeeming feature. It hits us because we feel guilty for our actions and then we start to sympathize.
So today let us take a pledge. Let us vow for equality, for justice for same love and no discrimination. Let us vow to be ourselves and help others to be who they are. I would like to conclude with the lyrics from the song itself:
‘I might not be the same, but that is not important
No freedom until we are equal, damn right I support it.'