Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Sub Pop/Macklemore, LLC.
Arguably Seattle’s fastest-rising figure in hip hop, Macklemore (born Ben Haggerty) first made a name for himself in 2005 with his socially conscious lyrics and furious flow. After a period of relative inactivity caused by substance abuse, Macklemore returned in 2009 with a tireless work ethic, frequently releasing music across the next two years with producer Ryan Lewis and selling out venues all across the Northwest. In the fall of 2011, it was clear that the duo were breaking on a national level, and this fall, the pair will relentlessly tour internationally behind the release of their debut album, The Heist.
With gospel-tinged piano and a painfully soulful hook courtesy of Seattle artist Mary Lambert, “Same Love” is an uplifting and uncompromising statement of support for same-sex marriage. Along with Ryan Lewis’ muscular production, the song’s socially conscious message hearkens back to the golden age of hip-hop to create an immediate and accessible song that avoids all of the pitfalls of half-baked politically charged music because Macklemore isn’t preaching - he’s pleading. “Same Love” is not so much of a call to arms as it is a call to love. “I’m Macklemore. I am a hip-hop artist from Seattle, Washington. I grew up the street from here on Capitol Hill and this is an issue that is important to me”, explains the MC in an accompanying video. The short, but effective video embodies why “Same Love” is not only one of the most powerful musical statements of the year, but also one of Macklemore’s best tracks to date.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will be on tour behind their forthcoming album The Heist (out on October 9th) for the rest of the year with a number of Northwestern dates on their itinerary, including a stop at WaMu Theatre on October 12th. Get tickets for that show here. You can find more dates and keep up with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their website and Facebook page. For now, watch this video of Macklemore talking about “Same Love” and Music for Marriage Equality: