They say that music unites us and gives us a collective emotion we can all relate to.
I'd have to agree. There's nothing better than a roaring dance anthem to get me in a positive state of mind. Think Donna Summer meets Lady Gaga meets Pit Bull... I'm in heaven.
Others have also said that music can change the world. Probably. It can certainly rally people behind a cause or issue. Look at what "We Are The World" did back in its day.
I'd like to think the same thing is happening right now with the song "Same Love" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Although it's not a brand new song at this point, it's about to crack the Billboard Top 10 and the music video has gotten well over 66 million hits on YouTube and a nomination for the MTV VMAs.
The song's style is completely disarming with a slow rap lyric combined with a moody beat with a knock-out female vocal to beat the band. Magical.
The real power, though, is in the story line. Mesmerizing.
The song is all about the legalization of same sex marriage, comparing it to other human rights issues we have conquered as a society. It was written as the state of Washington was struggling with the issue, in an attempt to persuade people to approve marriage equality. Motivating.
The song makes the case that any form of prejudice is simply just prejudice, hands down. While I have often made the same argument, this is the first time I've heard it in a pop culture forum. And if we are going to change attitudes and behaviors, then it generally has to happen in pop culture. I've been in marketing and advertising my entire career, I've seen it over and over again on the brands I've marketed.
The lyric compares the fight for same sex marriage with the fight for equal rights across the races. The video depicts the life of a gay man as he first goes through childhood, then becomes an adult struggling with it, then partners with the love of his life, and sadly (but yet happily) sees the end of their life's journey together. Moving.
It was written by a straight man, someone who actually wondered if he was gay as a child, at least as told in the lyrics. Ultimately confident in his identity, he learned to look up to his uncles who fought prejudice based on who they are. Isn't it ironic how the most confident tend to have no issue with equality in human rights.
Yes, music can unite us and it can change the world. I believe that is exactly what the artists are trying to do with "Same Love," and for that I say thank you and replay.
Magical. Mesmerizing. Motivating. Moving.