The song was written in direct response to what the Macklemore observed over the years.
“I wrote from my own perspective growing up in a culture where ‘that’s gay’ was commonplace, with a huge stigma on those who identified and were perceived as gay,” explains Macklemore, aka Ben Haggerty (pictured above - right).
“More than anything, I am aware how comfortable I (and most other straight people) have become staying silent on this issue. If we choose not to speak on an issue of injustice out of fear, or how our peers might perceive us, we’re part of the problem.”
In fact, Macklemore’s uncles (pictured below) served as inspiration for the song. He credits the pair for being a model of a committed and loving relationship.
Music for Marriage Equality’s Kerri Harrop immediately recognized something unprecedented in the song.
“What we are seeing is a cultural shift, and that shift is certainly reflected in the music world,” says Harrop. “Artists and bands have a long history of supporting and spearheading change.”
Though the track was written in April, it’s release comes in the wake of Frank Ocean’s coming out, which proved to be a huge milestone in the world of hip hop. The genre has been slow to come to terms with homosexuality over the years. But recently, major rap artists have publicly embraced marriage equality and openly celebrated Frank Ocean’s decision to publicly address his sexuality. And this song is the first to tackle gay issues in such an open matter.
(Read more about Music for Marriage Equality and it’s effort to have “Washington state become the first state in the nation to defend marriage equality by a public vote.”)