Word of the Week

Macklemore has been one of the most played new voices on the hip hop scene this season, especially as millions have fallen in love with his hit, "Thrift Shop."

And can I say, I'm in love with the social advocacy flavor of his entire body of work, The Heist. Macklamore is not your average rapper putting out more of the same. He's redefining his industry. He's challenging the norm.

Consider these words of the song, "Same Love."

When I was in the 3rd grade
I thought that I was gay
Cause I could draw, my uncle was
And I kept my room straight
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like, "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-K"
Trippin', yeah, I guess she had a point, didn't she
A bunch of stereotypes all in my head
I remember doing the math like
"Yeah, I'm good in little league"

A pre-conceived idea of what it all meant
For those who like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think its a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition
Playing God
Ahh nah, here we go
America the brave
Still fears what we don't know
And God loves all His children
And somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
3,500 hundred years ago
I don't know

And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
And I can't change
Even if I tried
Even if I wanted to
My love, my love, my love
She keeps me warm [x4]

If I was gay
I would think hip-hop hates me
Have you read the YouTube comments lately
"Man that's gay"
Gets dropped on the daily
We've become so numb to what we're sayin'
Our culture founded from oppression
Yeah, 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
Gay is synonymous with the lesser
It's the same hate that's caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color
Complexion of your pigment
The same fight that lead people to walk-outs and sit-ins

Human rights for everybody
There is no difference
Live on! And be yourself!

When I was in church
They taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service
Those words aren't anointed
And that Holy Water
That you soak in
Has been poisoned
When everyone else
Is more comfortable
Remaining voiceless
Rather than fighting for humans
That have had their rights stolen
I might not be the same
But that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal
Damn right I support it

We press play
Don't press pause
Progress, march on!
With a veil over our eyes
We turn our back on the cause
'Till the day
That my uncles can be united by law
Kids are walkin' around the hallway
Plagued by pain in their heart
A world so hateful
Someone would rather die
Than be who they are
And a certificate on paper
Isn't gonna solve it all
But it's a damn good place to start
No law's gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever god you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear
Underneath it's all the same love
About time that we raised up

Love is patient, love is kind
Love is patient (not cryin' on Sundays)
Love is kind (not crying on Sundays) [x5]

Sure, some of you might not be in hip hop at all. Some of you might be offended by the confrontational tone in the lyrics (and I agree, some of the words are harsh). But regardless, the message is a powerful one.

Macklemore calls out people of hate (including those within his own community) for what how they are putting dogma over love when it comes to LGTBQ folk.

He speaks a message that resonates with the millions who purchase his music. He speaks a message that my high school and college aged friends are thankful to hear (finally someone speaking their language!)

He speaks a message I believe of "calling out" when it comes to the church in American today. He calls gay rights a civil rights issue. He says it is time to change.

And I agree with Macklemore.

It's an especially important message on weeks like this when large Baptist bodies like those Southern Baptists-- who are up to their same hateful tricks again condemn the Boy Scouts (of all people!) for their acceptance of men in their programs regardless of who they love.

"Wake up, church!" is the theme I believe Macklemore is giving us in these lyrics.

Wake up and love your neighbor-- all of them.