Le1f Responds to Macklemore’s “Same Love” Success


Le1f is a New York rapper/producer. He is openly gay, and after Macklemore took home two awards at the Video Music Awards—Best Hip-Hop Video and Best Video With a Social Message—Le1f had a few things to say. For those unaware, “Same Love” is a song by Seattle hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. They are straight. The song is about legalizing same-sex marriage, and and was massively successful.

Here’s Leif’s take on it:

  • BaggyDizzle

    This is stupid. I’m in no ways a Macklemore fan but he’s shining light on the unfair treatment of homosexuals and this dude is acting like a bitch because he didn’t donate money to gay people? GTFOH. Welcome to a society where everyone wants a mile if you give them an inch.

  • Chad Lewine

    I agree. why the attitude? keep writing music

  • Jack DeManche

    What was the song Le1f made?

  • http://www.aboveandbeyondmag.com myslead

    In the words of the great Louis CK.

    I wouldn’t never call a gay guy a faggot… unless he’s being a faggot.

    and right now, Le1f’s being a huge faggot.

  • Jesus Shuttlesworth

    the point is if macklemore made a song about being a black guy wouldn’t that be just as offensive to black people?

  • Mr. Finn

    LOUISSSSSSSSSS. That’s the homie. And a truer line was never spoken. “Shut up and suck that dick… you faggot.”

  • Carver Low

    Questionable turn of phrase…

  • Uman

    I think the point Lef1 is trying to make is that he (and so many others) have been rapping about this injustice in the hip hop community (overall music industry, American society) for a good minute. But then a straight, white rapper comes to the stage, puts out one song, and he is now credited with “shining light on the unfair treatment of homosexuals” in the hip hop community (and music industry at large). Why do you think that is? Could this be an insult to those rappers and musician who actually live and fight the injustice day-to-day with their actions and music? Could the fact that it takes a white straight rapper to “shine light on an unfair treatment of homosexuals” when there have been gay people of color rapping about this for the longest time be an injustice onto it on self?

  • Joseph

    The only intelligent one on this page.

  • Devin Middleton

    It could be just bc Same Love is just a better written song. Its not an insult to anyone. Macklemore wrote from the heart and ppl ran with it for whatever reason. Lef1 shouldn’t hate on him doing something good. In the Civil Rights Movement, white ppl who supported equality played an important role by being an example and speaking out. Its the same thing.

  • Devin Middleton

    No, infct many white ppl have go on record to write songs about equality n the unfairness in America. Infact, Macklemore has spoken on this very thing in an interview about white privledge and the uphill battle black artist have to fight in mainstream media n how theyre depicted. Its not offensive, its honorable to see someone use their celebrity platform to try and change some outdated perceptions of ppl

  • Char

    If you compare the instrumental beat of Le1f’s song Wut, which came out in the summer of 2012 to Macklemore’s beat for Thrift Shop which came out this year you can see why Le1f says that his song was ripped off. He’s talking about both Macklemore songs, not just Same Love.

  • Char

    No, it’s because Macklemore is supported by the industry.

  • Devin Middleton

    Industry politics is still not a reason to blame Macklemore. That’s basically saying, “since you took the proper steps to get a manager, and a good booking agent, in order to get your music to the public light, everything you do is invalid, #underground4lyfe” Macklemore took his resources, n instead of making more hip hop songs about popping bottles, he decided to make a song with meaning that helps ppl.

  • Steve

    Thank you for explaining. The article did not make that clear — or perhaps the writer didn’t understand that aspect of the situation either. Without that context, Le1f’s posts seem to be just overly sensitive and increasingly erratic rants. I’ll have to investigate further to draw a conclusion, but at least now I can understand what the controversy is.

  • laura

    macklemore and this guy had the same chance at making it big. he wasnt supported by the industry before he succeeded in the industry w/ his other song.

  • laura

    I’m sure its frustrating that others who rapped about gay rights have gone largely unnoticed but throwing a hissy fit about who’s song became more famous is selfish. Isnt the goal of gay rights to be considered equal to straight people? So why should only gay rappers be allowed to rap about gay rights? Mackelmore doesnt claim to be gay – he’s not living a lie. I go to the same college that Macklemore went to and there is a VERY large homosexual community there so he probably saw the struggle that many of his friends and family have gone through and made a song in which he points out his own flaws as well – only a very selfish person would find something wrong with that. Its all jealousy & you know that.

  • laura

    I just listened to both songs. They are similar until you listen to them back to back – then they appear about as similar as any other hip hop beats. Also, how many times have hip hop artists ‘ripped off’ other songs for their beats. Its pretty common practice. Dude just wants to whine and complain…

  • nopenopenope

    privilege, yours, check it whitegirl

  • DLake


  • Nat

    I think I get where Le1f is coming from. There is no way that Leif will ever make the top of the charts, or get as much support from the industry as Macklemore has. Certainly not for at least a few decades, and that would be if Le1f stayed in the game for that long, and America changed very quickly.

    This is because Leif’s persona and style is too abrasive for the normal American. The energy is too openly queer or homoerotic to be accepted by today’s average listener. His personality is fairly unrecognizable, and may even seem threatening.

    Le1f’s a smart guy, and he probably knows his chances, and the reasons behind it. Imagine how frustrating that is. He feels as though he’s expressing who he is, and being true to himself, as all aspiring artists are. But he knows that true self is a bridge too far for Billboard 100, and that’s not changing any time soon. He’s maybe tweeting this to rebuff self-inflicted criticism, to pump himself and his supporters up, to stay in it.

    Macklemore’s persona has a lot of the off-beat urban chic that Le1f has, but he’s a straight white guy, and he channels that kind of persona and energy. It’s a lot more likeable by all the straight white people living in the U.S. That makes sense and it’s true, and I can see how there’s something bothersome about that.

    In a sense, Le1f and Macklemore are “fighting” for the same thing, are trying to push people in a similar way. They probably have similar intentions. But their emotional worlds couldn’t be more incongrous. Just listen to their music and watch their videos, and you’ll quickly see that. Le1f is using who he really is to push the boundaries, Macklemore is using the system to push the boundaries. There’s nothing wrong with using the system to get a message across, every smart human being who wants to make change does it. But you need to work outside the system as well to put pressure on it. Le1f’s pressure is true to the identity he is promoting–in that way it’s more authentic. I feel that when I’m listening to him.


    All this said, I think Macklemore is hands down the better rapper, musician, and songwriter. And that’s not just because he has a bigger budget. Macklemore and Le1f both started from ground zero, and I think Macklemore and Lewis got to the spot they’re in just as much because of their musicianship as their persona. Their beats and melodies are more infectious, and more moving. Yeah, Macklemore and Lewis are a bit cheesy, but they legitimately are talented.

    Le1f’s really great too, he’s fun to watch and is music is super interesting. But my recommendation to him would be keep working on the music and making it better. I’m not saying make it more poppy, or make it sound more like what’s on the charts, just keep working harder on it if you want people to hear you. Work on the beats, the hooks, the lyrics. Don’t bitch and whine about another artist, or complain he’s ripping you off. Yup, there’s a similarity there, but it’s not the same chords or melody, it’s only the feel that’s similar. You can’t copyright a “feel” and that’s for good reason. Don’t worry about the way everyone else is fucking up, worry about making yourself better, and you, and your message, will go further.

  • Spencer Anthony

    being white isnt a privilege you pretentious shitfuck.

  • Person 1

    “Le1f – Wut” The thrift shop beat is a rip off of the Wut beat

  • gd

    except POC artists and queer artists have been writing songs about struggle and everyday existence and pushing against privilege and institutionalized hate forever, but get no hype? should a dude with zero stake in this be getting all the credit? macklemore’s nothing more than a bad rapper with serious entitlement issues who makes a terrible ally—shutting out actual marginalized voices so that he can be the One to stand against shit. le1f is completely right.

  • Angelo Jaramillo

    A gay musician and gay person period should be happy that the song is so big. He’s just pissed off that he’s not making it in the industry. It’s probably all stemming from him not being able to get as big as mack because he’s not socially accepted in the mainstream world being an openly gay male rapper and all.

  • Devin Middleton

    That doesn’t mean Macklemore is responsible for that. If you want a song to blow up, you first of all, write a good song. N 2nd, market it to the right publications, the rest is what the general audience decides to pick up. None of this shuts out any artist. Millions of other rapper’s music doesnt pick up, this is no exception n its 10 times harder for a LGBT artist. So yes, its easier for Macklemore, but that’s not his fault, n thats why its good to have him using this platform in a good way. Macklemore’s uncle is gay (the song is written about him), so Macklemore is speaking about something hes seen with his own eyes. N would we rather he talk about drugs n partying or something else negative? No, so lets be thankful that the artist of today are talking about issues that matter. He didn’t hurt anyone.

  • CJB

    And how many African American straight men in any genre of music are speaking up about gay rights???? just be happy that somebody who has power is using it for the good of you. But no I guess that’s not good enough if its not you. And as a person of color myself, if you want things to be equal, stop making it a point to add “white straight dude” good job making that separation clear…and honestly after checking out a couple of your songs, maybe the reason you have not come up in the industry is because not as many people like your songs. Fans play a big role here… That’s just my opinion. Don’t be bitter, be better

  • hoot

    gurl has ashy elbows…

  • whatever

    What about Frank Ocean?

  • passingby

    off the top of my head
    kanye west
    jay z
    nick minaj
    50 cent
    kendrick lamar
    asap rocky
    busta rhymes
    have all come out in support for gay rights you fucking racist, is that blowing your mind right now that it doesnt take a white person to save our barbaric niggerized culture from injustice and mindless hate mongering. if what macklemore says is true and if he was gay he would think hip hop hates him than why doesnt he switch genres and see if he can get a song about marriage equality on a country music station

  • dayglowjoe

    you just called a gay man a faggot, well done you. dick head

  • dayglowjoe

    yeah but the fact that we live in a world where people would rather consume songs about gay rights written by heterosexual people like macklemore or lady gaga than actually support gay artists is pretty fucked up and that’s why le1f is so pissed. maybe it is slightly unfair of him to lay so much blame at macklemore’s door as he is simply a result of this system rather than the cause. but still. same goes for issues of race. lauren hill spoke up about racism in america and it ruined her career. if britney had done we’d all have been like :YAY

  • dayglowjoe

    actually the first step to having a hit song is probably being white and heterosexual.

  • dayglowjoe

    from Vice http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/blog/the-vmas-are-proof-that-america-is-dead-inside

    “The (relative) big winner of the night was Macklemore, who along with his producer Ryan Lewis, won two VMAs and performed his gay rights anthem “Same Love,” featuring a hook from Mary Lambert, an openly queer singer. Lambert’s hook, soulful and considered, is easily the best part of the song, and when the duo won the VMA for Best Video with a Social Message, she accompanied them onstage to accept the award. DESPITE HER CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TRACK, BOTH SYMBOLIC AND SONIC, LAMBERT WAS NOT GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WHEN ACCEPTING THE AWARD. Instead, Macklemore patted himself on the back, calling “Same Love” the most important song he’d ever written and explaining that gay rights were human rights. While his message is an admirable one, consider how meaningful the moment would have been if Lambert herself had been able to give a speech, or if Macklemore had ceded the moment to her completely. But he did not.”

    This plus Miley Cyrus using black women as visual props with asses for her to molest and you have two big reasons why the VMAs suck. and why Le1f has every right to be pissed.

  • George Green

    please name one song by any of those artists that is explicitly pro gay rights?

  • whitegurl

    LOL isn’t it? stfu

  • whitegurl

    you just got the point and then lost it all at once

  • Ingemar Smith

    The ‘dont blame Macklemore’. You niggas bore (and annoy) the shit out of everyone. This is bigger than you and your fanboi shit. Get over yourself.

  • hi

    this is true

    people saying “well it’s not mackemore’s fault that he has proper management and a good booking agent who helped him get into public light”

    + people saying “macklemore and this guy had the same chance at making it big”

    is just wrong. they never had the same chance.

    le1f is instantly at a disadvantage due to being a gay black guy rather than a straight white guy. it’s sad but it’s true – the music industry would never take the risk plugging a gay black rapper to a mass pop audience to the same degree they would a straight black guy even if they’re saying the same thing.

    le1f may have taken exactly the same steps to get proper management and a good booking agent but he will never have the same size audience as macklemore due to the prejudices of the industry and the public as handed down by the media. it’s totally disingenuous to claim that this is a debate about meritocracy or w/e

  • JW

    Don’t we all have a stake in this fight? None of us is free until we all are.

  • George Green

    If Le1f is going to be angry, it should be the multitude of hip hop artists that still see fit to use his sexuality as a punchline.

  • Fricktion

    It sounds like this dude is just mad that a straight person made a big splash talking about this. Yes, it’s unfair that that’s what it takes, but I don’t see how this song being successful hurts anyone (other than homophobes).

  • Fricktion

    I’m not going to argue about the heterosexual part, but last time I checked, most rap hits are still by black artists.

  • Linus

    Then why isn’t Macklemore also speaking out in public, like making speeches and donating his money to HRC like he said or AIDS foundations like what real activists do? You can’t be a “part-time activist,” it’s showy and indulgent.

  • Fricktion

    Yeah, the system is definitely fucked up in how exclusive it is. I also agree that letting all that frustration out on one artist isn’t particularly fair. I think a big part of the decision not to support gay artists in the mainstream isn’t even made consciously by the listeners, though. When it comes to music, people who don’t actively seek out alternatives to the mainstream just get what they’re presented with. If there aren’t any artists from a particular minority represented in the top 40, then people who only listen to what they hear on the radio aren’t going to even know that they have the option.

  • Devin Middleton

    Honest to God, not even a fan. But this “blame 1 rapper for the system’s unfairness, when infact this rapper is opening doors for you n others like you” is ridiculous. LGBT rights effects EVERYONE. Macklemore has just as many rights to speak on it. The song is about his uncle. Its a sincere song. N the bottom line is any hate on success is pure jealousy. Not immature jealousy, but still an unfair form of it.

  • Devin Middleton

    I def agree with what youre saying, but Macklemore didn’t make the world that way. n I think in 10 years time, we might look at him n Kanye, n Gaga, n ASAP, n Frank Ocean as ppl who opened the doors for gay rappers/artist b/c they had the straight white ppl’s attention n decided to be open about their thoughts on equality on n off record.

  • Devin Middleton

    Idk man. I cant tell that man what to do with his time n money. All I know is hip hop today is flooded with the same immature, selfish, negative song subjects, n he decided to write a song about how his gay uncle lives an unfair life in hopes that it might open ppl’s eyes. Personally, I think that’s good enough bc truthfully he has no responsibility towards anyone else. n We cant ask for more than hes giving us b/c then we’d have to ask every other rapper to do the same thing.

  • Devin Middleton

    Gotta agree with @fricktion:disqus . Being white can get be a gift and a curse in the hip hop industry. Its a thin line. Although Macklemore has spoken out about his white privledge and him being a novelty really helping his career, n acknowledge that its unfair.

  • Devin Middleton

    Very well put. It is sad.

  • Human1

    Oh, eff this crap to hell and back again. He should be glad that a message of equality and acceptance is finally going mainstream. Fools like Le1f costume self-interest with self-righteousness, and that shit pisses me off more than anything else.

    And how the heck is the world supposed to change for the better if every time a white person or a straight person or any person of privilege exhibits compassion we automatically slap them down and say “You can’t feel that, you haven’t struggled enough”? Shaking my damn head so hard it might fall off.

  • Human1

    It’s an injustice, sure, but Le1f should be pointing a finger at the industry that facilitates and perpetuates that dynamic, not Macklemore.

  • Human1

    People like you seriously make me want to flip tables. Shut up! That is so dumb! How are we (people of color) supposed to advance socially if keep telling white people and straight people and whoever else we deem “privileged” they’re not allowed to feel certain feelings or say certain things just because they don’t share our community’s historical experiences? That nonsense is fucked up and hypocritical and isolationist. Snarky little quips like “Check your privilege, white girl” when you have know way of knowing what color the poster is (nor should it matter) is just perpetuating the same shit you claim to oppose. Grow up. And check your ignorance.

  • EricV

    Macklemore had a window to express his views after the popularity of “Thrift Shop” and used it. We should not be upset, but rather praising that a song with such a positive message is on the radio and people are actually listening to our issues for once. And, I was under the impression that the proceeds from the sale of his song were going directly to Music for Marriage Equality. no?

  • olenholm


  • Anthony Michael Wagner

    I know it seems a bit unfair, but we’re not getting anywhere without our straight allies. I understand the criticism, but shouldn’t we be welcoming of folks who shed positive light on the community?

  • anon

    there is an entire segment of the academic world that might disagree… http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

    p.s., the link above was written by a white person!

  • Jerry Lawler

    Or they were smart enough to time the mass marketing of the song perfectly with the Supreme Court over-turning DOMA and Prop 8, when the issue was most popular and media-covered. Less white privilege, more good business. Yes, they aren’t the only ones talking about it, but they were more shrewd and savvy. Be happy the message is prominent.
    Also, why would you care if they are straight and white? Not liking what someone does because of their orientation/race? Lulz. The reason most people find it appealing is because he isn’t gay, publicly standing up for it. It wouldn’t have been so poignant had it come from a gay man.

  • Jacek Spikes Wozniak

    I very much agree with you Sir. Life is unfair, the gay or any minority scenes are not treated in a fair way, there is plenty of discrimination going on. We should change it! Now, my question is. Did Macklemore song manage to bring some of those issues up to public attention? Did it spark discussions? No one is trying to diminish Le1f’s contribution to fight for equality. The arguments he’s using are silly, he must be simply jealous. It’s like saying that Bob Geldof and Midge Ure should not run Live Aid concerts, because themselves are not victims of Ethiopian famine.

  • naomi

    I seriously do not understand all of this Macklemore hate. He wrote a song that was close to his heart about an issue that affects someone that he loves (his uncle). Macklemore has his straight white male privilege and is using it to spread a positive message. Le1f is a) wrong because Macklemore has given the proceeds from Same Love to Music for Marriage Equality and b) wrong because he’s misjudged the target audience for Same Love.

    “news just in: gay people don’t care…” I think it’s funny because the people who need to be hearing this more are those who aren’t gay, who listen to hip-hop and believe that it’s cool to use gay slurs and bully those who aren’t straight. Macklemore is coming out as an ally and pledging his support to the gay rights movement.

    I understand that artists like Le1f have been making the same kind of pro-gay music for a long time and thus far, haven’t found pull in the mainstream music scene. Therefore, shouldn’t they be happy that the message is at least getting out? I think that by changing the dialogue and having a song top the charts (esp. in hip-hop), Macklemore is doing a positive thing and Le1f has no reason to feel animosity towards the artist himself. If he has negative feelings concerning his lack of fame and popularity, he has nowhere to look but to the fans of mainstream music, meaning society itself. Macklemore may have been accepted by ‘the industry,’ but just remember that he’s still an independent artist.

  • DD2520

    Thrift Shop’s beat doesn’t even qualify as a sample of anything from Wut. The only thing they have in common is sampling of a short saxaphone riff, and it’s not even the same riff.

  • CJB

    Do yourself a favor and actually read through my comment and tell me what was racist about it, to do that you need to look up the definition of racism with some examples. OH and these list of rappers have not done anything as big as Macklemore has for gay rights. T-pain, did a tweet in defense of his assistant…any person with with a right mind would tell those people to shut up…..still not seeing any movement from that simple action. 50 cent supports Frank Ocean…ok he has shown the support of one person good for him… Nicki Minaj tells her gay fans that suicide is not the answer..ok going in the right direction. Busta, Asap, 50 cent, and Kendrick all say they support it but have not made an effort to make this a priority like Macklemore has. Even Lady gaga made Born This Way the first track released off of her album. Its one thing to say your opinion about gay marriage, its another to take it to another level.

  • SomeGuy112

    Why doesn’t this article show the Tweet by Macklemore saying that “All proceeds for the song (Same Love) go towards the fight for Marriage Equality in WA.” It even says this on the HRC website that this LE1F dude brings up in one of his tweets.

    Type in “hip hops macklemore ryan lewis release beautiful video for same love HRC” in Google and read the article on their website if you don’t believe me.

    So basically Macklemore supports equality and spreads his message through the song Same Love and then gives all the proceeds he makes off the song to help gay people and this LE1F dude attacks him? Do some research before bad mouthing someone LE1F…

  • astroturf

    this reminds me a bit of mos def’s take on rock and roll off of “black on both sides”

    You may dig on the rolling stones,
    but they ain’t come up with that shit on they own

    Chuck berry is rock and roll

  • Fatima Jafri

    Reading the other comments I felt moved to point a few things out.
    Macklemore does not have “the industry backing him” or whatever that means. He and Ryan Lewis independently produce and release everything, they did when they got big and they still do. He wrote Same Love before Thrift Shop got big and then attention was drawn to the rest of his album.
    Musically if you put both of the songs together they’re not composed similarly and don’t sound anything alike. Ryan Lewis is brilliant at creating beats. He doesn’t need to rip off people and the rest of their albums, including his solo instrumental tracks, are proof of that.
    Before Macklemore released Same Love, Frank Ocean and the rest of Odd Future were the ones pushing for gay rights in hip hop since he publicly outed himself just when he was starting to get big. Le1f just completely ignored the fact that the issue has been addressed and it’s not like the universe only thinks Macklemore did it. Also, yes, gay people do care about his video about gay people. Maybe Le1f is lecturing about who can and can’t represent him and he should instead take a minute to step back and realize he lives in a part of America where his sexuality is widely accepted and even celebrated. There’s people where I’m from and the rest of conservative America who don’t have a single voice, from a white person or minority, and anything at all moves them to tears. Le1f does not speak for all homosexuals and it’s disgusting and self absorbed that he thinks he does.
    And at the end of the day, if he’s angry that Macklemore made it big and he didn’t– it’s because his music is better. In all honesty, his song is sincere, it’s honest, and it hits the heart pretty hard. When Le1f is making music like that instead of bitching about others, he will make it too.

  • White Guy

    are you serious? it absolutely IS a privilege. you obviously have no concept of systematic oppression and how, without ANY of your participation, you benefit from being white every day. the fact that your privilege is invisible to you, INDICATES that your privilege exists…you shitfuck.

  • Lauren
  • shaggy

    I’m not sure I entirely agree. Reading the tweets, it does seem, on one level, that Le1f is upset that Macklemore has gotten so much attention and praise for Same Love, but it also seems like he doesn’t think Macklemore should have written the song at all (the disabled/aboriginal tweet). That is much more problematic to me. What, then, is the straight white male ally rapper to do? Not say anything at all? Remaining silent about an injustice that doesn’t personally affect you seems like the absolutely wrong decision.

  • jphelps

    and what did Le1f ever rap about that was in support of gay rights? his songs are about hookin up at the day-spa, makin money and grinding on ukrainian boys. in my opinion this has so much less to do with equal rights than who’s more popular. no-one ever shunned Gaga for not being gay and using that community to boost her career in her songs- but she does it with integrity and has a message to share as well as Macklemore- Le1f is trying to make himself no different from the other rappers out there and if his message was turned more towards society and less on himself, maybe he’ll be accepting awards some day. I’m a fan of both artists and this whole argument seems a little pointless. Le1f’s tweet sounds like straight up jealousy and blaming a straight-white dude is completely beside the point of what the message was all about. Le1f- write something that we can actually take to heart and relate to. So far I’ve just seen you shakin your ass to be provocative and shocking- which can be fun and entertaining, but we’re not in a place to reward that kind of message right now.

  • Chee Yang

    Well, well, even MURS made a song and video about interracial love, and the dude is black.

    People who hate on Macklemore has the stupidest reasons. If you haven’t heard an artist way before their popularity, spend time with their music one on one, you’re pretty much hating on their success.

    The last time I checked, The Heist was an independent release. Many of us listened to Macklemore way before The Heist was release, way before Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us was popular, way before all these ads and movie trailers had their music in them.

    It doesn’t help either if the radio is playing the same song everyday, because casual listeners can get bored quickly and start hating. Call it overexposure if you will.

  • Chee Yang

    Just because Same Love and Can’t Hold Us is getting good radio airplay, people assume that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are signed. I bet the people who are hating are the ones who didn’t know about Macklemore until earlier this year when he started getting radio time.

  • Aiden James

    i’m gay. i’m a touring musician. i love the song ‘same love’. i love that he featured mary lambert and the riff she wrote in it (queer girl). Not everyone will be successful in the music industry.

  • AceOnTheRiver

    Who cares, dumb faggot.

  • jayo212

    I think it’s unfortunate that a straight white guy has to be the one to mainstream LGBTQ acceptance, but seriously, Le1f is no posterboy for the queer social-political movement. His lyrics are just as self-aggrandizing and crude as any other rapper in the industry. “Wut” is a great song, but come on, he’s no Tracy Chapman. If anything, he reaffirms pop culture notions of homosexuality, which is totally fine — but don’t pretend to be some trailblazing icon for LGBT equality. And it honestly kind of bothers me that he’s hitching himself to this moment in an obvious attempt to get publicity. Faux-outrage about a very real issue. Kinda despicable.

  • nell

    I wasn’t aware that all of us gays got together and elected Le1f to speak for us.

  • Milo Disgrace

    also, i think the lyrics ‘i can’t change, even if i tried, even if i wanted to’ are really really bad and kind of a negative message, it feels like it has a melancholy tone toward not being able to change, as opposed to celebrating pride, and also viewing sexuality as non-essentist and fluid, which is a more important idea for straight and gay people, at least in my opinion.

  • urso9

    fair, but i think a lot of homophobes legitimately think being gay is a “choice.” it’s an untruth that really needs to be addressed, even if it is “melancholy.”

  • L.S.

    Civil rights activism through artistic expression is only acceptable if the oppressed and under-represented class is the one doing it, even if the socially privileged, mainstream artist can use his influence to express the same message just as effectively to what is literally a global audience? I understand Le1f’s frustration–making art or music that is successful, good AND popular while still conveying a meaningful message is horrifically challenging–but when it comes to something like the struggle for basic human liberties, I don’t think the messenger should be treated with more importance than the message itself and the effect it has.

  • bob

    macklemore isnt supported by the industry…..he has produced his own music all the way with the help of ryan lewis…..he isnt even on a label. he is just successful

  • real talk

    Le1f is just a miserable gay man. i bet if frank put out the same song he’d still be complaining. people will always have something to say. funny thing is all same love is trying to do is defend gay people like himself. Le1f needs to grow up and spend his twitter characters to promote something good or better yet, write a hit song that he’s so jealous of not having.

  • Michael Mic Holly

    this dude is turning this into a race ordeal for no reason. just got a bad case of haterism

  • Michael Mic Holly

    well you have to be successful in the first place to be heard in the music industry. he put out a few catchy tunes, mainly thrift shop and got people’s attention and went mainstream. aka he is going to be heard as opposed to someone small time like this le1f guy. so yea when he puts out a song about injustice toward the gay community in 2013, he is going to be the only one most people hear and be the “shining light on the unfair treatment of homsexuals” he played his cards right and le1f is simply hating

  • no stance in this argument

    there is an entire segment of the academic world that would find that article has typos and grammatical errors in it…obviously peer reviewed.

  • Jay019a

    It’s understandable that he is upset that a white guy came along and turned this issue into a successful song and was able to get into the public light. There is absolutely no reason for him to discredit or discourage straight white people from trying to she’d light on it and share their point of view. They are on they same side and trying to she’d light on the same issue! Stop treating Macklemore like he’s an enemy just because of his success. Frankly I find some of these tweets immature because it is doing nothing more to help the cause, it is only causing division between artists with similar views. Instead of hating on him, collaborate with him and use some of his success to get your views across.

  • ErikSlajus

    Mackelmore Releases Thriftshop in August, 2012 and Wut comes out April 2012. This pliagirsm sounds plausible.

    Also why are only white cis people allowed to talk about gay rights?

  • yarn34

    wha??? who says only white cisgenders are allowed to talk about gay rights? dumb.

    if he was plagiarized and can prove it, great. kudos. but the “you’re not allowed to talk about lgbt issues because you’re not lgbt” is stupid and hypocritical.

  • Matt Consola

    Wow, what a Jack Ass. Thankfully Le1f doesn’t actually speak for us. But he proves, once again why many in the Gay Community would rather bitch than except help. As a 25+ veteran of the Queer Music Industry and an owner/producer of two Queer labels, This “Queer Rapper’s” attitude sickens me. God forbid a straight person stands up for gay people. Not only that, but does this ass even know that this was their first world wide single (and #1 in most countries it was released in), but we in the “progressive” USA had to release it as the 3rd single so that they (Mack & Ryan) had a chance at being successful. What a crock. But we all know what is going on here. You have a ‘Queer Artist” who no one has ever heard of (except a few people who watched LOGO) and makes mediocre music and will never be successful since all he can sing / rap about is being gay. And he’s pissed off that two straight guys with no record label backing, had a #1 hit singing about gay people. Wow. Bitter Much? How about you make better music and maybe contacts in the industry rather than knock their success. Love them or hate them, Ben and Ryan felt the need to write the track and even more, release it as their first single. That speaks volumes in itself. Then to land a distribution deal that got them on radio with no label backing. That’s never been done in the USA that I’ve been able to find. So stop knocking their success and try working a bit harder.

    PS: The track is written and sung by two straight guys and oh wait for it . . . a Lesbian by the name of Mary Lambert. I love how no one ever factors that in. And can I point out to people (this is not me bitching but any artist or band (members), as is the case, would be upset if people kept saying him him him. This is a band. It’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (and in this case Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft Mary Lambert. People should stop saying he he he like it’s Macklemore’s solo project.

  • Matt Consola

    Char, you obviously know nothing about the “industry” that I have been a gay label owner, producer and artist in for 25+ years. First off, it’s not Macklemore like it’s a solo project, it’s Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, a band. Secondly, they have done something no other band on record has EVER done. They got a distribution deal which lead to radio play without a major label or any label but theirs behind them. And you know what, other than their distributor, because they were able to not only do this, but now score three #1 hits world wide, this PISSES OFF this industry. Since they just showed the artists, you don’t need a major label to get successful. Can you name one other band that’s EVER done this? You can’t. I’ve researched it. They don’t exist. So yeah, parts of the industry love them, but they didn’t get their success from “the Industry.” They got for writing tracks people wanted to hear and working hard to get it out there. Something Le1f one will never do.

  • smrtrthnu

    Le1f is an idiot. Push back against someone pushing the same sled as him. makes sense.

  • CC

    Mary Lambert sang on the song as well, and she is gay.

  • CincyJace

    This guy is bitter because he couldn’t make nearly as good of a song…and why shouldn’t Macklemore make money off it..it’s his song…he and Ryan Lewis wrote it, produced it, and made the video for it…last time I checked, artists are trying to earn a living by what they do…if he donates the profits to HRC or some other organization, great but he doesn’t have to…he should reap the rewards from this…and as a gay man, I love the song…don’t know where this bitter asshole Leif gets off saying gay people hate it…every gay friend of mine here loves it.

  • CincyJace

    White privilege my ass…we have no special privileges…quit living in the 1950s.

  • Raymond

    Jealous much?

  • CincyJace


  • Ugh

    A lesbian wrote part of Same Love based on her life experiences in an intolerant religious home. Let’s conveniently ignore that there’s a gay woman right there on stage, singing about her life and her experiences.

    Shocking, gay men speaking over and erasing lesbians. Shocking.

  • Kesha Wilkerson

    The song is catchy! First of all Im a lesbian and was bobbing to the song two weeks before I actually even listen to the words…..he could have made the song about anything and it would have been a hit. Initially its not about what the song is about… So if you have a wack production about the gay lifestyle no one cares…. it’s wack, not only will they turn it off within the first few seconds….they will never hear the words. Remember this is America we are moved by the oddest shit…..like reality TV, celebrities lifestyles, fashion,…GET it? The surface things.

  • Frog

    i dont get the hate. he has a platform that he can use to speak to people and it is fantastic that he used it for this message. nobody is crediting him with anything more than using his platform to educate others.

  • small victories

    Yeah, so despite this whole ‘tom cruise in the last samurai’ of gay rights thing, Macklemore did put in a good word with the mainstream, and that IS a step in the right direction. Maybe society hasn’t come to a place where an openly gay artist such as Le1f stands a chance at that level of popularity, but these are the baby steps that open up the bell curve for LGBT pop icons.

  • dayglowjoe

    yes, and the most successful rap hits are those that play off the popular commercialised and commodified perception and image of black culture that is popular with white people. misogyny gangsters drugs violence homophobia pimping and all that other bullshit that most black people have nothing to do with. the biggest consumers of this sort of rap music and hip hop are white people. also, i didn’t specifically say ‘rap hit’ in the first place but as you brought it up those are my thoughts.

  • dayglowjoe

    yes but to be a truly successful black rap artist who makes as much money as successful white artists you have to meet the popular white perception of black stereotypes. i don’t think you get it. lauryn hill for example did not meet this stereotype and she spoke out about racism in america and her career was very quickly destroyed by a smear campaign of lies.

    please read this two part article by the comedian and racism commentator aamer rahman



  • Fricktion

    You’re absolutely right, those are the biggest hits in that genre. I’m sorry for assuming you were talking rap, I was basing that on the fact that this whole discussion pertains to two rap artists. I’m fully aware that the biggest consumers of rap music are white and that it’s been that way since the NWA days. I think the consumer, the industry that backs these artists, and the artists themselves are all to blame for what is propagated in the mainstream.

  • Fricktion

    Yes, that’s absolutely the case. My point was only that being white isn’t necessarily a prerequisite to having a hit. I was not speaking on the content of those hits. The only reason I assumed rap hit is that this whole discussion pertains to two rappers. I’m well aware that most of rap’s consumers are white, as has been the case since the NWA days. The consumer definitely plays a large role in supporting this sort of ridiculous, negative content, but the listener shares that blame with the industry behind the artists and the artists themselves.

  • Fricktion

    I agree. As a straight, white male, it is impossible for Macklemore to completely understand the struggle of Le1f or anyone else who is a minority in our society. However, his attempt to do so and his speaking out on the matter in whatever way he can is better than silence, or better yet than all the rappers (mainstream and underground alike) that use words like “faggot” as a punch line. “Same Love” isn’t perfect, but it’s better than nothing and as a rapper, writing a song about marriage equality isn’t exactly hopping on the current trend at the moment.

  • Fricktion

    First and foremost Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are musicians. That is their career. I agree that a full-time activist is more beneficial than a part-time one, but not everyone who believes in a cause is going to dedicate themselves to it. I work in an office 40 hours a week. I do my best to support the causes I believe in, but I guess I’m a part-time activist. Does that make me showy and indulgent?

  • Val

    It sounds more like jealousy to me. Macklemore has always put out songs with a social message. At first I felt the same way, but it is still rare for LGBTQ artists to speak honestly about their sexuality. So often they’ve commented in such vague round about ways. As someone who did struggle with sexuality, I think it helps to see others who aren’t the same fight for LGBTQ rights….I feel like ultimately it’s a step towards progress. The issue goes so much deeper than some hater rants.

  • Coleman

    If only all these people knew macklemore before he got big. If only they where at his small venues that hardly anyone else went. Then they would truly appreciate that man. They could see how hard he worked. Realise that yes he has talked about this hip hop ego issue. Cause that’s what this is about. Someone’s ego is hurt. Listen to macklemores song called ego from his first album the language of my world it explains everything. And from one fag to next leif or whatever that rappers name is. He is just a ranting queen on her high horse.

  • ErikSlajus

    I’m not saying white cis people should be barred from a public discussion about GSM issues but in the US white gay cis males dominant the media landscape when it comes to people talking about LGBT and Gay rights.

    I’m white, cisgender, and male.

  • Mike

    Why does he have to discuss Macklemore’s race? This is black privilege…If a white man unnecessarily mentioned a black guy’s race, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be all over it.

  • Just A Man

    A.K.A, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis got lucky. It’s all luck mixed with hard work, and trust me, Le1f is working hard.

  • http://www.aboveandbeyondmag.com myslead

    you are oblivious to the reference.

    well done you dick head.

  • ∆ O§ɨRɨ§ ∆

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JErUzr8GSvU Watch! This was right before Macklemore was in everyone’s mouth, so I’ve come to respect him from this docu

  • Eileen

    It’s not that le1f is too gay for america, his music is just too unpleasant to listen to. macklemore is successful because his music is actually appealing. not because he’s straight

  • Koury Clark

    Le1f is a g. I’m straight. Le1f is q g.

  • http://www.clichegames.com Anthony

    why not both?

  • http://www.clichegames.com Anthony

    I think it’d be much less of an issue if macklemore did so without lifting music from le1f or acknowledged le1f somehow perhaps?

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