I’m actually really glad I came across this. I used to like the song, and then I read the lyrics, which made me very uncomfortable…
also, there’s the fact that everyone seems to forget about Mary Lambert, the lovely lady who sings the chorus and who has her own version of the same song that in my opinion, is much better. Oh, did I forget to mention she’s actually queer? so why is she rarely mentioned/talked about and Mackelmore is seen as this magnificent ally? (When they performed on Ellen, Ellen basically ignored Mary so she could talk to Mackelmore.)
She’s queer, and at least in my opinion she’s also a queerspawn, so I’m hella down with her. She also writes the realest shit ever about reclaiming her body from sexual abuse, sexist objectification, and policing standards:
I tried to limit the above to just the massive amount of straight “~ally~” fail (and the awkward appropriation / demonization of coded-as-Black artists), and not touch on the (regrettably overshadowed) parts of the song about Lambert, her relationship, and its value. Because I focused on that weird relationship with rap, I didn’t want to bring her into it since I don’t think people generally classify her as a rap artist?
It’s definitely another extension though of Macklemore’s problem as an ally though that he’s taking up center stage and basically all the verses and relegating her to the chorus for flavor. And I mean that both with regards to heterosexism and sexism, because I don’t think we can say only one of those is operating between the two of them.
I’m kind of curious about how she’s dealing with all this nonsense, if at all.
As for Ellen… well there’s a reason straight people are willing to watch her, to promote her, and to “accept” her - because she doesn’t point out all this shit that Macklemore’s still messing about with. Plus, she’s White and wealthy, and rap is what “scary” Black and Brown poors listen to and Macklemore is basically basing his career on people like him taking over the brand of “hip-hop” or “rap” over from “those people”.
Every time this song comes on the radio, I change the station.