Same Love

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 2012

How did the Defense of Marriage Act define marriage when it was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996? When was the law struck down by the US Supreme Court?

What political debates of 2012 is Macklemore participating in with the song "Same Love"?

Why do you think Macklemore chose to reference Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" in the piano part in "Same Love"?

In the song, how does Macklemore critique negative attitudes about homosexuality?

According to Macklemore, what challenges do homosexuals face?

"Same Love" performed by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on The Heist, © 2012. Available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.


For more information about Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, visit their official website.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult the following online resource for lyrics:

Ben Haggerty, also known as Macklemore, was born in 1983 in Kent, Washington. After his family moved to Seattle he attended Garfield High School, where he and some fellow students started a rap group called Elevated Elements. His parents later transferred him to a private high school, where he conceived of the name Professor Macklemore when working on an art project. He adopted the name as his professional moniker at seventeen. Macklemore's first hit song was "Welcome to MySpace," which was widely shared on the MySpace social network. In 2006 he met Ryan Lewis, who would become his producer and chief collaborator. Together, as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, they have produced their own records, relying on social media to market their music without the help of a major label. Macklemore has also issued two solo albums without Lewis.

Same Love album cover
"Same Love" album cover.

"Same Love" was recorded and released in April 2012 in advance of the state-wide vote on Referendum 74 in the state of Washington. When it was approved by voters the following November, the referendum legalized same-sex marriage throughout the state. In 2012 a rap song in support of LGBT rights was unusual. Macklemore has commented on his disapproval of hip-hop songs that disparage homosexuality, saying, "We want to go beyond that to get our message of positivity across" (quoted in Hiatt). He was inspired to write "Same Love" when he heard the story of a young man who died by suicide after being called a "faggot." In the song, he also draws on his own experiences, referring to his gay uncles and godfather and rapping about a time when he questioned his own sexuality.

The song's keyboard part quotes the melody from Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" (1965), about African Americans' struggle for civil rights. The use of the melody links the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for the legalization of gay marriage as similar struggles for equality. The song also features a hook composed and sung by Mary Lambert (b. 1989), who proudly sings about the love she shares with her partner.

For another song that references "People Get Ready," see "Waiting On the World to Change," by John Mayer.

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