…As a white rapper Macklemore is desirable to white audiences in a way that black rappers are not. This is a reality you might call the palatability of normativity: the aesthetic preference for exposure to individuals who as closely as possible fit the straight, white, cisgender male ideal. His whiteness also gives him a contradictory status as both outsider to ‘black’ hip hop and ideal exemplar of hip hop, writ large, which status he parlays into the image of an intellectual artist who engages critically with the tropes and shortcomings of the genre. His video Thrift Shop was generally seen in this light: a critical appraisal of hip hop’s crass consumer culture, as typified by images of black men wearing excessive amounts of gold or diamond jewelry. Same Love, as both single and video, was seen in a very similar light: a daring, provocative subversion of a homophobic genre (Macklemore out and declares his genre homophobic in the opening lines of the song itself, an absurdly self-serving act and one swallowed uncritically by a fanbase otherwise largely unengaged with the genre) and a brave call for LGBT equality. Macklemore’s entire public persona is built upon a foundation of erroenous stereotypes about his genre which his whiteness gives him leave to critique.
Macklemore’s status as ally par excellence to the queer community derives not only from his straightness and whiteness but also his redemption narrative: Macklemore is a self-described ‘reformed homophobe…’
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Maya Angelou, Still I Rise
This poem is my Invictus. I turn to it whenever I find myself in need of strength.
On 12/12/72 Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, member of the most powerful elite family in the world, held a Surrealist Ball at Château de Ferrières, one of the family’s gigantic mansions.
The invitation was written in reverse. It required a mirror to be read. Inversion is a big deal in a pseudo-satanic mind state.
Guy de Rothschild & Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, the hosts of the ball, wore a horned “giant’s head” with tears made from real diamonds.
Rachel, we could make this happen…