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Stop Calling Macklemore “Brave.”

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A few days ago, Macklemore took home four Grammys (for New Artist, Rap Performance, Rap Song for “Thrift Shop,” and and Rap Album for The Heist). After the ceremony, Macklemore posted a picture to his Instagram of a text message he sent to Kendrick Lamar, who he beat out for best rap album, where he says, “You got robbed. I wanted you to win.” He goes on to say that he wanted to say that during his acceptance speech, but got nervous and froze up. What a brave hero Macklemore is! What a swell guy!

Except it’s bullshit. Macklemore is not the end-all, be-all LGBT ally, nor is he “brave” for showing a text message he sent to Kendrick after Macklemore took home four awards.

First, why Macklemore isn’t a real LGBT ally. In his “gay rights anthem” (lol), Macklemore says,

When I was in the third 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?

Okay, Macklemore, we get it, YOU’RE STRAIGHT. He repeats his “No homo!” refrain throughout the song, plus he says, “If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me.” Excuse me? Heina has already done a great article on pro-LGBT rap artists, so I won’t rehash all of them, but I will also add that both Jay-Z and Kanye (arguably the most famous rap artists today) have spoken out in favor of same sex marriage for years, and they were both nominated for best rap album (the award Macklemore said he “robbed” Kendrick of). To quote Jay Dodd, a student at Tufts University:

Hip-hop has been queer for years before Macklemore was even born. The first rap song came out of the disco tradition, rappers like Cee-Lo Green and Andre 3000 have been doing drag for years, Common came out against writing homophobic lyrics, not to mention the countless rappers and artists who have supported Frank Ocean. While homophobic lyrics are pervasive in Hip Hop, they have never been more homophobic or heteronormative than any rock or pop song. Secondly, if 87 percent of YouTube users are White and 54 percent male, it’s guys who look like you and listen to rap like you do, who perpetuate that narrative of hateful Hip Hop.

The only reason I would think hip hop hates gay people is because Macklemore blatantly ripped off a queer guy of color’s song about gay interracial love for a song about shopping at thrift stores (seriously, if you don’t believe me, take a listen). Oh, and when Macklemore performed “Same Love” at the Grammys, he replaced the gay woman in the song (Mary Lambert) with Madonna (who is also straight).  Way to show solidarity with gay people, Macklemore!  I’ve been corrected. Apparently Madonna was only brought out at the end of the song, and Mary Lambert was still up onstage. My apologies.

There are not too many rules to being an ally, but Macklemore has already broken most of them. Sending a text to a black guy you beat for an award doesn’t count as “checking your privilege.” If Macklemore really was aware of his privilege, he would have spoken out about it on stage when he won his award. Some people act as if that’s a preposterous idea– who would refuse an award based on institutional racism? Um, well, Marlon Brando, for one, so don’t give me the whole “that could never happen!” excuse. In a fantastic article by Brittney Cooper (which you should really read in its entirety), a professor of Women’s Studies and Africana Studies at Rutger’s University, she says:

However, Macklemore claimed that fear prevented him from taking a courageous stance and saying exactly that when he went up to accept his award. But Kendrick Lamar can’t do anything with a private apology, Macklemore. Far too often, allies refuse to speak up in public while asking for absolution via private confessions. Macklemore failed to use the white privilege that he has readily acknowledged to challenge this structure of power in a moment when the world was watching. [Emphasis mine.]

A true ally would speak out when the world is watching. Keep that in mind if you want to be a true ally, Macklemore.

(Featured image via Rap-Up.com)

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43 Comments

  1. I don’t know what it means to label an entire musical genre as homophobic or not, but I think that it’s quite clear that there is a lot of homophobia present in hip-hop music. See, for example (warning: f-slur):

    http://rapgenius.com/search?q=homo
    http://rapgenius.com/search?q=faggot

    Macklemore recorded a nice song that’s explicitly about how same-sex is OK. Is it perfect? No. But the perfect is the enemy of the good. So while we shouldn’t be praising him from the rooftops, I think that dismissing him completely is the wrong idea too.

  2. Great article. Macklemore’s (genuine, I feel) attempts at being supportive of LGBT rights leave a lot to be desired.

    I do take issue with the bit about his text to Kendrick Lamar. I don’t know (but please tell me if I’m mistaken) that Macklemore was trying to make a statement about racial injustice in the music industry, but rather saying that he thought Kendrick’s album is better than his (it is).

  3. There’s a lot of anger in this piece, but not much to back it up. I didn’t see very much that identified Macklemore as an insufficient ally.

    I don’t care about the Grammy’s, and I don’t listen to Hip Hop. I didn’t know anything about the text message, or that anyone had referred to Macklemore as “brave.” However, what Macklemore did sounds like a fine gesture to me. If you think others shouldn’t be calling that act “brave,” then your problem is with them, not with Macklemore.

    I dont’ see anything wrong with the refrain — and I am somebody who really dislikes it when people start sentences with “I’m straight but, …” And Hip Hop does seem very homophobic to me (though my experience is more with reports about it than actual listening). Again — a lot of vitriolic anger at Macklemore — but almost nothing to back it up.

  4. This is a pretty disappointing article. It seems to me that it is built more upon frustration that Macklemore is getting more attention from other people than he may merit, than it is on actual evidence that he is a bad ally of LGBT or African-Americans. As someone wrote above, it seems that your frustration is misdirected, at best, and that you are finding any flaw with Macklemore’s message to be grounds to completely under cut him.

    For one example, you quote from “Same Love,” which was a song recorded for and at the request of the Washington same-sex marriage campaign, but you end your quote right before the line, “Bunch of stereotypes all in my head.” The message of the song is about him growing up to understand that he had a misconception about what it meant to be gay. It is fairly disingenuous to use your quote as a representation of the message of the song. And if we are going to discredit songs because parts of the lyrics are presented from the view point of someone who is ignorant before he or she grows up or matures, then say goodbye to half of our playlists. It is also a mistake to view the song outside of its context and purpose. It is overtly and intentionally a message to straight people who are middle of the road (or perhaps anti-gay), and in that context, it is an incredibly powerful and useful song. I remain amazed at the backlash against it.

    Also, criticizing Macklemore because his rare and open acknowledgement that he thought another artist produced the better album did not occur until after he left the podium is extraordinarily petty. You quote an entire article built upon the plainly false premise that Macklemore’s Instagram page was a “private apology,” and not a public broadcast of Macklemore’s feelings, and also upon the false premise that Macklemore has anything to apologize for. Macklemore pretty regularly says and does things that acknowledge that he realizes he is benefiting from white, straight privilege, and yet it seems that many people refuse to be satisfied unless he wears a hair shirt — or more accurately, unless he wears a hair shirt of the exact color and for the exact duration and of the exact animal hair that the specific writer seems appropriate. I find the whole reaction just wonky.

    • I agree that Macklemore is getting more than his share of criticism because of what other people say about him (i.e. that he is “so brave”) rather than for things that he has done. Or at least I did until the accusations of biting (that seems very well founded), who he bit from, and his refusal to speak to those same allegations. Plus there is this

      Also, criticizing Macklemore because his rare and open acknowledgement that he thought another artist produced the better album did not occur until after he left the podium is extraordinarily petty.

      I would agree that sending a text to Kendrick to acknowledge his album as superior was a pretty strong gesture, or at least it would have been if it remained private or if Kendrick had been the one to Instagram the convo. As it is it makes Macklemore look self-aggrandizing at best or even calculating and manipulative at worst. Either way, bad form.

      He would do himself a big, big favor if he would just acknowledge those in the hip-hop community that said these things before him and come clean about biting Le1f and reach out to him, and then back the fuck off if told to without getting his fee-fees hurt. I like Macklemore but his recent actions give me pause, and some of his blind apologists are starting to make Beliebers look rational.

      • You do realize that your criticism of Macklemore’s IG post is the exact opposite of the criticism in the OP? Was it too private, or too public? You might have a fair point about you would have handled it yourself, or how you think the best way to handle it is, but the overall impression is that this looks a lot like Macklemore is going to be criticized no matter what he does. I think there is a degree of hipsterism infecting ally and privilege discussions where one’s popularity or popular success is viewed as a negative and proof of lacking sincerity. I think it is pretty counterproductive unless the long term goal is to maintain an outcast or subculture status for, in this case, LGBT individuals and African-Americans.

        • It was a private text between Macklemore and Kendrick and it would have stayed between just them, until Macklemore decided to Instagram it to pat himself on the back. I don’t know how thinking that is a d-bag move makes it hipster. If he spent as much effort being a good ally as he spends telling people how good an ally he is he wouldn’t have this problem.

          • Does it dawn on you that a likely explanation for posting on Instagram was to make sure that his followers were aware of his opinion that Kendrick made a better album? To me, that seems like the most likely explanation, unless you have already predetermined that he’s a DB and is doing everything to pat himself on the back. I guess I don’t follow him enough, but I have yet to see where “he spends [much time] telling people how good an ally he is.” I see plenty of people claiming he is a great ally, and that might be a reasonable target for criticism, but I need something more than using his IG account to acknowledge that he didn’t deserve the award he received to conclude that he’s an inauthentic DB.

            The hipster comment isn’t directed at you, but at the trend I feel exists towards undermining allys and advocates for, sometimes, completely unfounded reasons. See the link I posted below for more on that.

          • Seems rather aggrandizing either way. Either look at how humble I am or look at this little gesture that I did after it mattered.

            I realize there is a certain amount of damned if you do, damned if you don’t to being an ally but if you are going to list their stance on gay marriage as a benefit of joining the ACLU then it would probably be a good idea to not steal from one of those you profess to defend. Just saying.

  5. Everyone I know thought this episode made Macklemore look like a douchecanoe. Maybe that’s just because I’ve chosen my friends wisely, but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that lots of people agree with you, Sarah.

    (The insensitive fanboys/girls posting here being an obvious exception.)

    If this was anything more than self-congratulatory and self-promotional, if he really felt as strongly about these things as he claims, he would’ve said them on stage, when it mattered. I’d also expect his words to have demonstrated sympathy or understanding on some level, instead of coming across as clueless. He’s obviously never sat down and listened to LGBT people about their experiences.

    • (The insensitive fanboys/girls posting here being an obvious exception.)

      Seriously? Did you not see that I am not even a fan? I know Macklemore only from one ubiquitous song. I don’t follow hip hop at all. Way to unthinkingly minimizing opposing arguments.

      • You are defending him even though you yourself said you are not a fan of him or of hip-hop.
        Almost like it was a reflex, to defend someone you know little about.
        You may want to ask yourself why that is.
        And BTW I don’t claim to know why you would do that, maybe you could ask those who reflexively defended Robin Thicke not that long ago.
        I suspect the effect is similar.

          • Really, in what way? Those who are defending his recent actions do so by dismissing those in the LGBT and African-American communities that say he is not a good ally or by saying he is being misunderstood. Ignore his actions, look at his self-stated intent. But intent is not magic, if you do a shitty thing with good intentions it is still a shitty thing.

          • I think I mistook this post as coming from delphi, so I took you as saying that idahogie was a fanboy because he “quickly” came to Macklemore’s defense. Since you are a different person, you might not have meant that, but you should at least understand that criticism of delphi’s post.

            And it doesn’t take dismissing people in the LGBT and African-American communities to defend Macklemore. It only takes a critical look at the validity of their arguments. What actions are we to ignore? Accepting a request to write a song to aid in the marriage equality fight in Washington state? Writing a song directed at straight people on the fence that seems to have been incredibly effective in sending the message he intended? Acknowledging his white and straight privilege repeatedly? Acknowledging that an African-American artist made a better album than him? I really don’t get it.

            I see the opposite. I see people asking to ignore Macklemore’s actions, to impose an unproven intent onto those actions, and then to criticize him for his “flawed” intent.

            But if LGBT are the only people who have the right to have an opinion on this (and I am not one), well, they might not be so universal of mind either:

            http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2014/01/28/to-queers-bitching-about-macklemore-and-ryan-lewis

          • Sure, he’s done good stuff and I applaud him for that, but it does not excuse stealing a song (even if unintentional) and allowing the “he was the first” horseshit to stand. He is very conscious of his image so he must know that he has been accused of both repeatedly, let him set the record straight, excuse the pun.

            Not doing so allows him to bask in the very white privilege that he so bravely acknowledged without using it to at least point to the hypocrisy of the music industry and society in general. And what better place to do that then at the same ceremony where he well-meaningly used members of the LGBT community as props?

            Not doing it doesn’t necessarily make him a bad ally but it sure as hell doesn’t make him a good one.

          • I do not know enough about the song stealing controversy to speak to it (this thread was the first I’ve ever heard), and that seems to be your real gripe with him, so I’ll peal off here. I would point out that allegations of stealing songs are nothing new or unique to the hip hop industry, and rarely have anything to do with privilege. Sounds different enough to me, but I’m not qualified to judge those things.

          • You don’t see how someone who says he’s an ally should address the allegations that he stole from a queer black man? This isn’t about whether Le1f could win a court case (although the beat and arrangement seem very close with some monir pitch changes) it’s about appearing to dismiss someone who belongs to two of the very communities he so bravely decided to ally with. There may be nothing to the similarity but I have yet to see where Macklemore has addressed it at all.

            If he truly wants to be a good ally he should address it.

        • First I’m criticized for defending Macklemore because I’m a fanboy, then critcized because I defend someone I don’t know much about. (I realize these criticisms are coming from different people.)

          In the OP, Macklemore is criticized for not stating onstage that someone else should have won. And in the comments, he’s criticized for not keeping his text message private. (Again … different people — except that mrmisconception seems to be one of the parties in each of those instances.)

          Double standards at work all over the place. It just seems like the OP didn’t make a decent case for pronouncing Macklemore flawed — but others are willing to make that case even when it contradicts the complaints in the OP.

          • I didn’t criticize you for defending him, I simply wondered why you would defend someone you professed to know little about. Seriously, that was all.

            As for the text, I feel a private text to Kendrick would have been fine (and nothing we would be talking about) but by Instagraming it he seemed to be doing the “look how humble I am” while explaining to his public why he didn’t speak up on stage. I could be reading the entire thing wrong but it seemed to be a selfish act, like he’s trying to have it both ways.

          • mrmisconception,

            Actually, I mispoke earlier. Because I didn’t so much defend Macklemore as point out that the OP fails completely to make a case that he is a bad ally, or that he isn’t brave.

            But I stand beside the rest of my comments. First, I’m a fanboy. Then I’m asked why I would defend him given that I’m not familiar. So it still makes zero sense. I can criticize a critique of someone I’ve got zero knowledge of. I don’t need to know anything at all about Macklemore to say that the OP failed to make a case. And you would be committing a logical falacy to insist that I do (again … you would be right if I were defending Macklemore — and that’s my fault for mischaracterizing myself).

            Further, it very much appears that you are reading into Macklemore’s actions what you want. He was criticized for not being public enough. But you criticize him for being too public. It really looks like you and the OP just really don’t like him, and will criticize him no matter what he does. Your argument is based entirely on what it “seems” like to you. You’d better look into how much you really want to read into his actions just to back up your existing opinion.

          • Nope, sorry. I actually like Macklemore, I just feel he needs (yes needs) to correct people when they say he’s the first this or that if he wants to be an ally. I disagree with the OP on her interpretation of Free Love, it’s a good song but it’s not perfect. I have to admit that his apparent theft really bugs me, this too needs to be addressed.

            With the exception of the theft these thing were no brought on himself, that doesn’t mean he’s dealing with them as well as he could. And I fully admit that it’s my interpretation of the Instagram issue, I simply can’t see how his taking the picture was innocent, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be just that I don’t see how. And I’m not condemning him for it I simply see it, and all these things, as a symptom of his privilege and I believe he is a decent guy, I just want him to act more decently.

          • I want allies to act more decently, too. Including myself. I just think that there’s a whole lot of people in line in front of Macklemore who deserve criticism (and I’m talking about allies that have the media soap-box that he has). He’s done far, far more good for the movement than anything pointed out in the OP. So it seems that the attack is unwarranted.

          • idahogie – I realize it wasn’t your intent so I will just point out that this line of argument

            I just think that there’s a whole lot of people in line in front of Macklemore who deserve criticism

            comes dangerously close to being a dear muslima argument. I don’t think you’re trying to suggest that criticism, no matter how mild (after all the suggestion is simply that we stop calling him brave because he really isn’t so much), is not allowed if anyone else more rightly deserves that criticism.

            And that’s where I am not understanding this whole argument. There is a charge of theft from a person in two of the communities he is seen as an ally to. After listening to songs (at least I hope most would listen before forming an opinion, and I’m not talking about anyone here but I’ve seen plenty of off-hand dismissal as well as belief) there are basically three positions to take; 1) It’s not the same and can be dismissed 2) It is close enough that it should be addressed 3) It is obviously theft and is true.

            I’ve seen lots of arguments (I spend time on tumblr) that come from the viewpoint of 1) or 3) and they will accuse the other side (as well as those at 2) or those who don’t pick a side) as simply defending/attacking him because he is white or because he is straight without realizing that they themselves are doing the same thing. Now tumblr is full of all kinds of people, many of whom are not versed in skepticism and critical thinking so this knee-jerk reaction is to be expected.

            But here we have a post suggesting that Macklemore is not as great an ally as some believe he is, and while some of the arguments were simply wrong (the passage about the song completely missed the meaning of the song) others bring up troubling aspects. Troubling at least if Macklemore wants to earn the praise that he has been given, even if he didn’t ask for it.

            There is a certain segment of the hip-hop community that will always see him as just some white dude who came in to take all the glory, and to some extent that is true. But I would lay that more at the feet of the media and society in general rather than faulting the recipient for existing. But there also seems to be a segment (again, nobody here) that want to treat any criticism of him, no matter how mild, as sour grapes.

            I personally have a problem simply dismissing allegations from the very people he purports to help. I want to see him be actually brave next time and say something while he’s still on stage, I’d like him at the very least talk to Le1f to clear the air, and I would like to see some acknowledgement of those in hip-hop and rap who support the rights of LGBT and women.

            Until he does I will think a little less of him, I think homeboy will weather that indignation just fine.

  6. This is why I don’t watch award shows. (That, and they’ve always bored me.)

    I do make an exception on derailment. If a survivor of X says X is analogous to Y, but the survivor’s self-appointed advocate says X is not analogous to Y, I call that Stupid American Person syndrome, or SAP for short. Pointing out SAP is not derailing. (Don’t think it’s entirely an American thing, though Reagan’s mysterious ability to detect human rights abuses in communist countries combined with his blindness to apartheid, among other things, is a perfect example of SAP. It just happens SAP is a nice anagram.)

    One final rule on being an ally. Expect to begin sentences with “Correct me if I’m wrong…” a lot. And expect to be using the imperative a lot less than you do normally, like, not at all. (For instance, explaining that “berdache” comes from a Farsi word for prostitute.)

    Wait, only 87% of YouTubers are white? I thought it was higher. LOL Seriously, YouTube comments sections are full of racist trolls.

    And yeah, my grandparents told me about Marlon Brando. It was difficult. I mean, do you know how sad it is that at the time, the most sympathetic portrayal of Indians on film at the time came out of…Germany. In 1936. (Oh dear Godwin…)

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027834/

    And the thing is, they’re still doing it. Johnny Depp wants to be a role model for Indian kids. That’s fine, but you’re not an Indian. Jay Silverheels was. (Also, bringing back the Lone Ranger?)

    But that’s another debate altogether. ;)

  7. Macklemore is only the second white act to win the best rap album award; the other being Eminem. The Beastie Boys never won. This makes it hard to support the claim that this is an example of institutionalized racism. Where’s the evidence?

    Macklemore and the Grammies are not my cups of tea, yet this article seems to be needlessly bitter.

    • Kanye West is 4.37 ka. and Eminem is 4.18 ka, while the Beastie Boys were only 3.29 ka at the height of their power. Macklemore has never been above 1.23 ka. In case you’re bad with unit conversion, 3.97 ka=1 Grammy.

      Of course, I’m using “ka” or “kiloawesomes”, the standard unit for measuring the goodness of rappers. If you think that’s stupid, pause for a moment and contemplate the fact that you just asked for “evidence” in this context.

      • I provided data to dispute the racism claim. You threw out gibberish. Others (whom you dismissed as “insensitive fanboys/girls”) made valid points too. Calling him a “douchecanoe” doesn’t constitute an argument.

        Furthermore, your post implies that a person can make a racism claim and then lay the burden of evidence upon those who doubt it. That’s not going to wash.

        • The OP did not make a racism claim against Macklemore but rather the Grammys, the media and society. Macklemore has gotten credit for being the first rapper to support LGBT rights, and while he has to his credit owned some of his privilege he has not pointed out that he is not in fact the first, far from it, which undermines how good an ally he is to both communities. The OP simply pointed out that biting the work of a queer black man belies the ally status that Macklemore is so keen to foster, again in both communties.
          His actions of late (the biting, the Instagram, “freezing” on stage) add up to at least a douche-paddle if not the full-blown canoe. The valid points that were made were dismissive of the communities who say he needs to do more, and yes they are the one’s who get to decide how good an ally he is, not himself and not those who are outside of those communities.

          • I never said the OP did accuse him of racism. It doesn’t . It says he got “an award based on institutional racism.” My comments only refer to that.

          • “Macklemore has gotten credit for being the first rapper to support LGBT rights, and while he has to his credit owned some of his privilege he has not pointed out that he is not in fact the first, far from it, which undermines how good an ally he is to both communities.”

            This is a good example of where I think you are placing unrealistic expectations/demands on Macklemore (and others) and moving the goal posts. From everything I’ve heard, he’s gotten credit for being willing to support LGBT rights. He has. To an unusual degree compared to those in his industry. Now, I am sure you could find a cite that falsely claims he is the first, but the bulk of the praise for him (as far as I have ever seen) is just that he supports LGBT rights. And yet your criticism of him is that he hasn’t, to your satisfaction or notice, sufficiently disclaimed the wrong-headed (and little heard) claim that he was the “first.” How closely have you monitored what he says in order to make such a pronouncement that “he has not pointed out that he is not inf fact the first”? And what level of acknowledgment would be sufficient?

            I think this is a pretty absurd standard. A hip hop artist who isn’t sufficiently humble enough? You must hate the genre completely.

          • You know, when I make judgments about the behavior of celebrities I don’t use the same burden of proof I would for Bigfoot sightings, I know that may be shocking. But the truth here is that I said I’ve heard him refereed to as “the first to supporter of…” and you say it’s little heard. OK, do you have sufficient proof that it is indeed little heard, because you just said I shouldn’t hold my opinion because it’s an “absurd standard” to hold him to. (I might point out the double-standard here but I won’t and yet did at the same time, aren’t I a cheeky bugger?) Apparently I need to scour the internet to find proof of wrongdoing before I am allowed to decide whether a celebrity needs to work a little harder to earn their rep. What’s next, are you going to demand I show pictures of Justin Beiber pissing in a mop bucket before I’m allowed to think he need a swift one upside the head?

            And I didn’t say Macklemore isn’t sufficiently humble, in fact I said one of the motivations for sending that Instagram might have been to show humility. GASP, speculation.

            Look, you’re more than welcome to believe that he is a perfect ally, or a good ally, or a good-enough ally, whatever you wish to believe. I simple think he’s got a little work to do even though I still like him. I just don’t understand this visceral need people seem to have to prove that any celebrity they’ve ever enjoyed is beyond reproach, they are people and they are flawed I don’t see how that should keep you from enjoying their work or from criticizing theirs faults.

          • Nobody said he is “beyond reproach.” Do not misrepresent people. That’s not honest.

            We are arguing that the attack on him in the OP is not supported. That’s it. Please stick to the real comments here.

          • idahogie – Just to make it more clear, I wasn’t suggesting anyone was arguing that Macklemore was beyond reproach, That last sentence was about the need that humans (all humans, including me) seem to have to defend the people they like no matter what. It wasn’t referring directly to this case.

          • Fair enough. However, the only thing that seems to be on display in this thread is a visceral need to attack Macklemore without basis. The OP blames him because other people are calling him brave. The OP blamed him for not being public enough about his feeling that another artist deserved the award, and you blamed him for being too public about it. Another commenter called me a fanboy, and you questioned why I would defend him based on not being a fanboy.

            There are several problems on display here — in the OP and in the comments — but absolutely NOBODY is displaying a visceral need to defend Macklemore. The only real defense of Macklemore that verges on that is that several commenters have disagreed that one verse in his song is all that bad. That’s it. So you seem to be excessively worried about something that is not happening here, while ignoring the problems that actually are.

          • And you keep characterizing criticisms as an attack, do you not see how that makes it seems like you are defending him? Plus you’re arguing inconsistency by citing different sources, you were “called a fanboy” by one person (and if you look they didn’t name you directly) and yet I said you didn’t know much about him (using your own words). If those statements came from the same person you would have a point about inconsistency but just because two different people came to two different conclusion doesn’t mean either are inconsistent, just that they disagree in their conclusions.

          • The OP is an attack — not a criticism. Now you’re just being dishonest. Further, the only thing going on in the comments is that a dozen people have observed that the attack is not supported. That’s it.

          • People say he is a “brave ally”, the OP showed way in which that’s not wholly true and suggests we stop saying how brave he is.

            That is an attack? Seriously? An attack. We have a difference of definitions I’m afraid.

  8. > He repeats his “No homo!” refrain throughout the song

    That’s not at all how I read this section of the song. When I was a kid, I was afraid that I would be gay, too. I think he’s pointing out how screwed up it is that society (and often parents themselves) vilify gay people, that their kids grow up afraid of being gay and losing their parents’ love, and that parents have to eventually reassure their kids that they’re not gay, after making them afraid of being gay in the first place.

  9. I am definitely going to agree with a lot of people here and say that this article is needlessly cynical and pessimistic. I don’t think Macklemore is having a net negative effect on gay rights, attitudes toward homosexuality in the hip-hop community or institutionalized racism in the music industry.

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