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Cursed Lemon
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#1
01-31-2014
Default All this Macklemore/Grammys hooplah

Macklemore's performance on the surface was a simple demonstration for the gay rights cause. However, sentiments like this and this have been popping up all over the place, denigrating his efforts and using him as an example of the problem instead of the solution:

Quote:
Much of the nation was introduced to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis this past weekend, thanks to their appearance on Saturday Night Live, a major accomplishment and promotional tool for any musical artist. Considering the indie-rap duo’s already growing popularity with their chart-topper and multi-platinum seller, “Thrift Shop,” it is important to examine the impact of their success.

Macklemore has already been touted by several media outlets as the progressive voice on gay rights in hip-hop since the release of “Same Love,” his second single to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song, which peaked at No. 89 last week, tries to tackle the topic of gay marriage and homophobia in media and US culture, focusing specifically on hip-hop with lyrics such as, “if I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me.”

Though Macklemore is not gay, “Same Love” has gotten many accolades from fellow straight supporters, as well as members of the gay community. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed it on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where DeGeneres introduced them by saying, “Here’s why you need to care about our next guest. No other artists in hip-hop history have ever taken a stand defending marriage equality the way they have.”

But, how can this be the case when there is already an entire genre, Homo Hop, comprised solely of queer hip-hop artists? Whether it is intentional or not, Macklemore has become the voice of a community to which he doesn’t belong in a genre that already has a queer presence waiting to be heard by mainstream audiences.

We should also examine the song’s hook, performed by lesbian singer-songwriter Mary Lambert. Lambert first gained notoriety as a spoken-word artist, and it is important to remember that spoken word, like hip-hop, is rooted in Black culture. They are both a response to white supremacy.

However, Lambert, like Macklemore and Lewis, is a white artist. This begs the question: what does it mean to have three white people–two of whom are straight–be the beacon of gay rights in hip-hop?

In “Same Love,” Macklemore does not address these concerns. Instead, he raps about hip-hop as if it were his. The song lyrics even take it a step further by conflating Black civil rights and gay rights, which are both about identities he does not possess and oppressions he does not experience:

Quote:
A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em
Call each other f*ggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference
Macklemore speaks of hip-hop as if his whiteness is irrelevant when criticizing the genre as a whole for being homophobic. These lyrics are very reminiscent of much of the shaming of people of color that occurred in 2008 after the passing of Prop 8 in California, where Black people and Latin@s were accused of being responsible for the anti-gay legislation passing while seemingly ignoring the millions of dollars raised by white Christians to ban marriage equality. Though Macklemore may not be blaming Black people for homophobia, by focusing on homophobia in Black community spaces as opposed to the pervasiveness of homophobia everywhere, white people get to remove themselves from the problem.

On top of this, the same argument that suggests that Black people should be more understanding of homophobia because of their own oppression is used both in the lyrics of “Same Love” and in many racist pro-marriage equality campaigns. This line of argument suggests that homophobia perpetrated by people of color is somehow worse because they should have known better as people who are also oppressed. Furthermore, when white people are homophobic, it is less condemnable because they don’t know what it is like.

Along with not acknowledging his white privilege in “Same Love,” Macklemore uses the homophobic slur “f*ggot” in the second verse seemingly without any consideration of his straight privilege. Though he is condemning the use of the slur, there are ways he could have held this conversation without inciting the word itself, since many folks within the queer community feel hurt by straight people using that word in any context. And in the third verse he raps, “and a certificate on paper isn’t gonna solve it all, but it’s a damn good place to start.” For many queer people of color who have not seen themselves represented in the marriage equality campaign, it can be very hurtful to have a straight person–let alone a white one in a musical genre that was created to address white supremacy–tell them where the best place to start is.

In a November 2012 interview with Chris Talbott of The Associated Press, Macklemore expresses his fear over touring in states like Idaho, Montana, and Texas as a pro-gay artist. Macklemore was afraid that there would be backlash from the heartland, however, was pleasantly surprised when the rap duo was met with open arms. “Those were three places where people probably sang the loudest,” Macklemore said.

Macklemore’s fear of traveling these states demeans the reality that there are queer people there to begin with, who are already living in communities that are theirs. He also fails to acknowledge that he is straight and, therefore, experiences the privilege of not being gay-bashed.

This line of thinking appears to have informed the song “Same Love” from the start. The single supports the idea or, at least, implies that people of color–particularly Black folks who created hip hop–are more homophobic than white people and that there are no queer people who feel supported in these communities. This is very dismissive of queer people of color who consider communities of color their primary communities, who have experienced racism by queer communities, and for queer hip-hop artists of color who have found a home in the undervalued sub-genre of homo hop.

However, Macklemore distances himself from his privileges. Continuing to focus on hip-hop, he talked about misogyny and homophobia in hip-hop culture with Kurt Andersen of Studio 360:

Quote:
Those are the two acceptable means of oppression in hip hop culture, Its 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.
By making statements such as these, Macklemore not only gets to remove himself from straight and male privilege–both of which he benefits–but he also gets to be the white savior of hip-hop. Macklemore pleads for hip-hop to be more accepting of non-queer women and queer people, but he does not promote the work of non-queer women and queer hip-hop artists of color. In fact, he does not even include a queer person of color in the song “Same Love,” but instead chose Lambert, a white person whose success was also found in a Black art form.

Macklemore acknowledged the complications of being a white artist in hip-hop earlier in his career, in the song “White Privilege”:

Quote:
[W]hite rappers albums really get the most spins
The face of hip hop has changed a lot since Eminem
And if he’s taking away black artists’ profits I look just like him
Claimed a culture that wasn’t mine, the way of the American
Hip Hop is gentrified and where will all the people live
Despite knowing that white artists get more recognition due to racism, Macklemore has not taken any steps to minimize this reality. He has not been accountable to homo-hop artists of color, who not only are impacted by homophobia in society as a whole, but also go unsupported because of homophobia and racism that favors white straight men like Macklemore. Macklemore has not corrected the misinformation that he is the most pro-gay voice in hip hop, when what could be more pro-gay than a gay artist within the genre? And none of the artists featured on “Same Love” have been openly accountable to the fact that they are profiting in a genre that does not belong to them at the expense of queer artists of color.

Lambert’s website calls the song “revolutionary.” But, is it really revolutionary to take up space in a genre that exists in response to a system of oppression you benefit from? Is it revolutionary for Macklemore, as a white straight man, to assume that gay people–including gay people of color who may find strength in hip hop in the face of racism–must feel that the genre hates them as is stated in the first line of the second verse in “Same Love”?

And, is it revolutionary for white people to get mainstream recognition for talking about homophobia in hip-hop, when queer hip-hop artists of color are routinely ignored? The fact of the matter is the success of “Same Love” is largely due at least in part to white audiences being more receptive to white straight men talking about oppression than oppressed people, as well as the comfort of being able to remove themselves from misogyny and homophobia because the oppression at hand is the fault of Black people in hip-hop. What could be more revolutionary than that? How about listening to queer people of color?
Does anyone find this just a touch absurd? Not the suggestion that hip-hop culture has demons, but rather the vilification of one man who tried to make a positive gesture.

To paraphrase the backlash in my own sarcastic tone:

1) The Grammys are an unholy symbol of discriminatory, heteronormative exclusivity; to profit from Grammy exposure is comparable to signing a contract with Westboro Baptist.

2) Macklemore's first inclination should've been to suicide-bomb the problem, forsaking his career completely so that he could deliberately pitch his message to a lesser number of people - people who probably already agree with him. Macklemore clearly has some kind of egalitarian mind control superpower where he can impart real, concrete change in race/gender issues with less airtime.

3) Only people who are suffering from an affliction are allowed to be outspoken about the problem. Being straight, male, and white means you have absolutely no insight about any social issues whatsoever, and if you are even briefly the major voice of a demographic you don't belong to, then the world is in complete turmoil.

4) The fact that Macklemore won Best Rap Performance over black nominees is clearly a demonstration of racism, rather than a demonstration of bad taste (thus validating the Grammys as a completely legitimate phenomenon otherwise).

5) Because some people made hyperbolic statements about Macklemore's groundbreaking influence when it came to gender and race equality in the hip-hop community, Macklemore is by proxy a privileged honkey who should just keep his mouth shut.

6) Rap, at its roots, is a reaction to white supremacy - therefore, rap is only for minorities, and any white rappers can never be anything more than "ironic".

I really don't mind the examination of this whole scenario with subtexts in mind, but it is the slandering of a person who just aggressively pitched equality over a national medium that really chaps my elbows.


Elmo <3
Smuttny
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#2
01-31-2014
Default

I find it repulsive when I hear people criticize Macklemore for this. Not even worth discussing in my opinion. For me it's easy to see that he's a good man with a positive message, and he's not an opportunistic prick trying to profit from someone else's struggle. He's got gay family members, and gay friends. I'm sure most of us can relate. Some people literally hate him because he's a white rapper who won a Grammy, almost as if he's got a mob to stiff-arm the voters into giving him the nod. I love Kendrick Lamar and think he had a better album but to shit on Macklemore for winning is a waste of time. The guy even has the humility to admit he disagrees with the votes and would rather have seen Kendrick win and people crucify him for it. People just need to hate someone because they can't bare the reality of popularity contests. I don't even need to listen to Macklemore's music to respect him. Rap is for all people and social commentary on an issue that affects your own family should be perfectly fine.

Some times I just think people hate to see happiness in others. It's as if they can't imagine positivity could be genuine if you're famous. Fucking imbeciles. The guy did all of this without a record label and instead of garnering respect, he's bashed for being himself and rapping about what's important to him. You either hate gays, hate whites, hate seeing other's succeed, hate humility, or hate his haircut. One of these must be the reasoning behind the senseless diatribe I've heard since the Grammy's.

One of those articles just criticized him for using the word "faggots" and it going uncensored. It's a part of the fucking song and considering the context, it's meant to provoke thought and should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Macklemore
"A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em
Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it"
How is that a part of the fucking problem? Does he walk around with an Intercontinental Homosexual Championship belt?! Makes me want to vomit when I see a gay journalist denigrate everything he says because they're offended by his support. They'd rather he shut the fuck up about it and make room for actual gays to speak their part. None of these people were raising pitchforks and demanding a women's voice when Tupac released "Keep Ya Head Up".

Last edited by Smuttny; 01-31-2014 at 09:34 AM.
muRda
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#3
01-31-2014
Default

Homo Hop is the funniest fucking thing I've read in a while. Like, congrats on segregating yourself from others based on your sexuality.

This guy does a great job of twisting words and straw manning to make Macklemore out to be some white-guilt martyr instead of a guy selling major records via an independent label all the while including a message of justice and equality. I hope this guy has a long enough dick so he can just go ahead and fuck himself.
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#4
01-31-2014
Default

fuck macklemore
g7ags
sm panic

nyc

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLippiN C View Post
Now you've done it Johnny Quest!
Shif7eh
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#5
01-31-2014
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by muRda View Post
selling major records via an independent label
No. Despite being signed to an independent label, Hagg's & Lewis are distributing copies of The Heist (quite the name for an album in this situation) through a Major Label arm of Warner Bros.

Just wanted to point that out.

Lovin H2A








Last edited by Shif7eh; 01-31-2014 at 12:59 PM.
muRda
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#6
01-31-2014
Default

Yea, I have no idea how industry works. Just remember he had independent something going on.
PM
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#7
01-31-2014
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttny View Post
I find it repulsive when I hear people criticize Macklemore for this. Not even worth discussing in my opinion. For me it's easy to see that he's a good man with a positive message, and he's not an opportunistic prick trying to profit from someone else's struggle.
sadly this is only just projection, you know
Quote:
He's got gay family members, and gay friends. I'm sure most of us can relate. Some people literally hate him because he's a white rapper who won a Grammy, almost as if he's got a mob to stiff-arm the voters into giving him the nod. I love Kendrick Lamar and think he had a better album but to shit on Macklemore for winning is a waste of time. The guy even has the humility to admit he disagrees with the votes and would rather have seen Kendrick win and people crucify him for it.
this is projection. call it speculation if you want-- w/e-- you clearly don't really know this to be true.
Quote:
People just need to hate someone because they can't bare the reality of popularity contests.
this is projection.
Quote:
I don't even need to listen to Macklemore's music to respect him.
you sure give out your respect easily
Quote:
Rap is for all people and social commentary on an issue that affects your own family should be perfectly fine.
let me be clear though, i do agree with this. i'm just saying that you're making a conclusion based on a character evaluation you've made of the guy. but bear in mind how you only know him as a celebrity figure (an image).
Quote:
Some times I just think people hate to see happiness in others.
even though it may be true and schadenfreude is a real phenomenon, this is projection also. have you caught on?

the whole problem is that we're even discussing the topic as if the issue is really that macklemore is being dissed for supporting gay people's rights, as if the problem weren't really that macklemore has only really successfully made the debate center around his own figure.

Quote:
It's as if they can't imagine positivity could be genuine if you're famous. Fucking imbeciles. The guy did all of this without a record label and instead of garnering respect, he's bashed for being himself
*chuckle*
Quote:
and rapping about what's important to him. You either hate gays, hate whites, hate seeing other's succeed, hate humility, or hate his haircut. One of these must be the reasoning behind the senseless diatribe I've heard since the Grammy's.
gross, dude.

he's succeeded in that he's famous and has won the Grammy and has a lot of money and fans and is widely broadcasted. the reason he's won the Grammy is ofc bc he's succeeded enough to have won the Grammy. he didn't make the media center the debate around him, his being so successful made the media center the debate around him. (and remember why he's so successful?)

btw, just think i need to remind everyone who defends the guy just as personally as these linked-to articles attack him: we live in a world such that he's necessarily selling himself. that's how the marketable rap game works.
he's really good at selling himself.
you say he's "being himself" like you're repeating a middle school poster. that's not how it works more generally.

you also said that he's doing what's important to him (as if you know what's important to him is to make people think about gay rights and other important stuff). i hope this is the case, and if it is, i think some of the projections you're relying on to conclude what you're concluding are justified. i just don't know, and neither do you. not saying it's bad to give people the benefit of the doubt, just saying that it's bad to give famous white rappers the benefit of the doubt when the question you're asking is "is he being himself?" (the only thing we know for sure is he's very successfully selling it)

Quote:
How is that a part of the fucking problem? Does he walk around with an Intercontinental Homosexual Championship belt?! Makes me want to vomit when I see a gay journalist denigrate everything he says because they're offended by his support. They'd rather he shut the fuck up about it and make room for actual gays to speak their part.
can't get it bc doesn't get it
Quote:
None of these people were raising pitchforks and demanding a women's voice when Tupac released "Keep Ya Head Up".
i'd bet some of them and probably a lot of them were



tl;dr: imbo the real problem is we aren't addressing the real problem-- it's not with macklemore personally.

A culture founded from oppression
Yet we don’t have acceptance for ‘em
Call each other f*ggots behind the keys of a message board
A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference

i don't really find these lines too inspired or great but their aim is at least commendable, i think, in that it's calling for a joining (politically) of racialized and gendered peoples.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cursed Lemon View Post
Here's the problem - I am not a means to the end of rape culture, I am the end. I am literally the termination of this whole ordeal.
here's the problem

Last edited by PM; 01-31-2014 at 05:25 PM.
Trendkill
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#8
01-31-2014
Default

honestly i wouldn't even worry too much about that argument in OP, those people are in the very small minority of people who probably misunderstood/misapplied the concepts they learned in their identity politics class lol. it's like picking apart the WBC's arguments.


but honestly, i think people exaggerate how bold and progressive macklemore is as an artist. i mean seriously, as far as socially conscious hip hop goes, the lyrics in "Same Love" are hokey as fuck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttny View Post
The guy even has the humility to admit he disagrees with the votes and would rather have seen Kendrick win and people crucify him for it.
that's not why we were mad at him. it'd be one thing if he told Kendrick that he deserved to win in private. but the fact that the holier-than-thou douche had to go and instagram his convo with kendrick so everyone could see how fucking humble he is is fake as shit. it's like tweeting how much money you gave to charity. definitely a hack move

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttny View Post
I don't even need to listen to Macklemore's music to respect him.
maybe you should take the time to listen to macklemore then before you say this. you may find that some of his beliefs are as autistic as that in OP (i.e. the song "White Privilege" where he implies that white infestation is the reason mainstream hip hop is bad and artists like Aesop Rock and Eminem should acknowledge the fact that much of their success is due to the privilege hip hop gives them for color of their skin. he also butchers rock and roll history in that song claiming that jimi hendrix is the reason clapton got big, when actually the exact opposite is true).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smuttny View Post
You either hate gays, hate whites, hate seeing other's succeed, hate humility, or hate his haircut. One of these must be the reasoning behind the senseless diatribe I've heard since the Grammy's.
lol yeah that's definitely it, i'll pick all of the above
 

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