Macklemore and Ryan Lewis continue to make waves in media after becoming ambassadors for the United Nations’ gay rights campaign. No strangers to the cause, the duo continue to campaign for equal rights for the LGBT community.
The Seattle-based rapper and his producer, Lewis, owned the radio waves last season with their summer hit “Same Love,” which features openly lesbian singer Mary Lambert. “Same Love” has since become an anthem in pop for LGBT people, especially given its wide embrace by mainstream culture.
Clear in its message, the song advocates for same-sex marriage, with Macklemore’s gay uncle and his partner serving as the song’s central inspiration. It was recorded in 2012 just as same-sex marriage was passed in Washington State, where Macklemore hails from.
Staying true to their advocacy for equal rights, Macklemore and Lewis showed that they wouldn’t be limiting their platform to just LGBT issues on November 24, during their acceptance speech at the 2013 American Music Awards. Although the artists weren’t in the venue, they accepted the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist of the Year via satellite in Florida; they also used the major moment to bring to light a different controversial subject: the late Trayvon Martin.
“I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” Macklemore said during the televised ceremony. “This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth, and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”
In another part of his speech, the pop rapper dropped a line from Martin Luther King Jr., saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ album “The Heist” also snagged an award for Favorite Rap/Hop-Hop Album.