Macklemore thrilled as Same Love strikes a chord
"If I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me," hundreds of fans chanted on Monday night in Sydney to the American hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
The duo's song, Same Love, is by no means the first politically charged hip-hop hit, but it is the first time that gay rights have been so passionately championed by rappers.
Riding the wave of gay rights support in Australia, the Seattle group's song has become our nation's anthem for same-sex marriage.
New appeal ... Macklemore & Lewis gained mainstream success with hit song Thrift Shop, above.
For three weeks, the song has sat in Australia's revered No.1 position - longer than in any other country.
It has also reached No.1 in New Zealand.
Ben Haggerty, who goes by the name Macklemore, and his producer Ryan Lewis seem genuinely excited that the song has struck a chord with Australian fans.
Politically charged ... Ben Haggerty. Photo: Anthony Pidgeon
"It's obviously an issue that people feel passionately about, I'm not sure if democracy won," Haggerty told Fairfax Media, regarding the federal government's decision to vote down a same-sex marriage bill in September.
"That's exciting for me that the song represents a political change potentially," he said.
The song is lyrically raw, catchy and musically sparse.
But Haggerty is adamant that its popularity is based on the lyrics, not the tune.
"It's a lyrically driven song," he said.
Lewis said the song had been the surprise "highlight" of their tour so far.
"You're seeing a new generation of people, particularly young people, thinking differently."
This is not the first time the song has spoken volumes to the masses.
During the Washington Referendum 74 on same-sex marriage in 2012, Same Love also became an "unofficial anthem", Haggerty said.
On November 7, voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington state approved same-sex marriage, marking the first time marriage rights have been extended to same-sex couples by popular vote in the US.
"Equality prevailed and it was a song that kind of coincided with that whole campaign," Haggerty said.
Last year, American rapper Frank Ocean broke new ground in the hip-hop community by announcing that he was bisexual, only days before he released his album, Channel Orange.