Every time I find a pop song and/or music video that celebrates gay marriage, I post it here, and I’m happy to be predictable like that. Because every time a pop artist creates work that celebrates, considers, or engages positively with gay culture, then everybody wins.
Recently, rising rapper Macklemore (and his producer Ryan Lewis) delivered a video for “Same Love,” in which Macklemore muses about the danger and pervasiveness of gay stereotypes and points out how no one has freedom until everyone is free. Meanwhile, Mary Lambert sings a lovely hook about love keeping her whole… and it’s clear she’s singing about a woman.
In the video, we see the entire story of a gay man’s life: From birth to childhood to falling in love to getting married to dying with his husband at his side. It’s even more powerful because it’s so well made. (The last 2 minutes, when the characters get older, are especially impressive.)
What I love about this video is how squarely it focuses on the joy in this man’s life. We see glimpses of hardship and struggle, but they’re overwhelmed by love. The message (to me) is that gay people are living full lives, not just embodying easy political narratives all the time. If it weren’t for the specificity of the lyrics, you might think this video was about a couple that happened to be gay… that the story was mostly about people in love.
I’m shocked that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis wrote this song, since their first hit was “Thrift Shop,” which is all about horniness and dumb R. Kelly jokes. But hey… we’ve all got multiple sides, I guess.
[UPDATE: I’ve gotten really interested in Macklemore since I saw this video. I downloaded “Same Love” and “Thrift Shop,” and I read about some of his earlier, underground work. He’s a really interesting artist who’s trying to balance good time songs with thoughtful material. Color me impressed.]
Mark Blankenship hopes that a pro-gay rap song hits the top ten. He tweets as @IAmBlankenship.