Macklemore under fire for ‘Same Love’
In the wake of Macklemore’s win at the Video Music Awards, openly-gay New York City rapper Le1F took to Twitter to unleash a string of rather hefty accusations at the emcee, implying that Macklemore used his song “Same Love” to try and make money off of the same-sex controversy. While most of the heated Tweets have since been deleted, they pulled no punches on a number of other subjects as well.
Le1F posed the question of whether or not any proceeds from the sale of the top twenty single were going to any organizations that support same-sex legalization or if the money was kept by “this straight white man.” This is perhaps where Le1F makes the strongest case, as if you’re going to rally for or against a certain cause, there is a long tradition of musicians donating directly to said cause from the success of the song in question like “We Are The World”, the Tibetan Freedom Concerts, and Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” just to name a few.
However, musicians trying to be overly-sympathetic or exploit certain high-profile situations is nothing new, and just in the past year, everything from wars across the globe to the Trayvon Martin case have found their way into songs from a wide range of emcees. Calling rappers out for trying to use tragedy for financial gain is also not a new practice, and few people have done it better than Kansas City emcee Mac Lethal on his track “Tell Me Goodbye.” Truth be told, Le1F should take lessons on this one, as Mac does it far better than a brief Twitter tirade.
The reality is, neither Macklemore nor Le1F really “win” in this situation, as they are both at fault in different ways. With the success of the single, Macklemore would be making a far stronger and more righteous statement if he did in fact donate some of the proceeds to the cause he used for “Same Love.” Yet at the same time, for Le1F to be so naïve to think that this is an isolated incident, as well as his own insinuation that simply because he is openly gay, he is more of an authority on the subject within the world of hip hop (in his words, “gay people don’t care about your video about gay people”) only damages his own credibility.
Aside from all this, it must also be noted that in Le1F’s Tweets, he also called out Macklemore for “ripping off his song,” and when you listen to Le1F’s track “Wut,” it’s hard to not hear the source of the main riff from “Thrift Shop,” as the latter of the songs appeared nearly four full months after the other (it also makes you wonder what the “what what what” at the opening might be referencing). Taking this into account, perhaps the sonic theft is the true source of Le1F’s frustrations, and he simply used it as a springboard for his anger at “Same Love.”