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Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Animal Style" came before "Same Love" just sayin'.

I know we’ve all seen, if not heard, Macklemore’s Same Love once in our lives.  It’s an empowering song that has become an anthem for the LGBTQ+ community among others such as: Lady Gaga’s Born This Way and Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful. More recently, I found an artist that I wouldn’t have expected to come out with an LGBTQ+ issues song.  His name is MURS aka Nick Carter aka Making the Universe Recognize and Submit aka Making Underground Raw Shit.  Before I continue, go ahead and watch the music video for Animal Style…

I want to announce that my views on this song, MURS, rap music and the LGBTQ+ community are solely my own personal opinions and by no means represent anyone other than myself.

What speaks to me about this song, other than its message, is that MURS is an African American rapper promoting and supporting the LGBTQ+ community through rap music.  Rap has long been a genre, more so a culture, where homosexuality is disgraced and shamed.  Identifying as queer and identifying as part of rap or hiphop culture hardly ever goes without some form of bullying, slander, or discrimination.  It seems to be a clash of stereotypes; the feminine, weak, emotional view on gay men goes against the hard, thuggish, tough view of rappers.  We live in a world that bases each other off of stereotypes when we really just aren’t educated enough on differing cultures. Sad, but true.

With that said, this music video really breaks some boundaries.  You may argue, “well Macklemore’s Same Love could be considered rap.” I suppose, but what makes Animal Style stand out is the fact that the rapper is African American; his race takes the stereotype of the “rap, black” culture mixed with LGBTQ+ culture a step further.  MURS is opening up the door and mind of rap culture for a more inclusive audience.  It’s a culture that no one would have expected to take a supportive stand on LGBTQ+ rights.  At the same time, the fact that MURS isn’t white and he’s using his fame and talent to speak up for the LGBTQ+ community, his intersectionality can extend support to someone who identifies as both queer and as a person of color.  Macklemore, Lady Gaga, and Christina Aguilera are all great examples and leaders for social change, and they’re also all white.  I just want to celebrate the accomplishments of MURS and the impact he’s making through songs like Animal Style, breaking the pattern that only white artists are striving to create change for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Thanks, MURS.

Maddison LeRoy


  1. I think it's important to see Macklemore as a white rap artist when examining the homophobia of rap culture. Because Macklemore has more privileges as a white man, I feel he has more artistic license to be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community as opposed to African American men.

  2. I've been known to be really critical of Macklemore for "Same Love" and its precisely for this reason. People like to act like Rap and Hip-hop are so homophopic and then they take the license to extend that to all Black populations. So when Macklemore gets fanfare for doing "what no other rappers are doing," it erases what SO MANY rappers and hip-hop artists have been doing. I love MURS and artists like him are so important. I'll never forget being in junior high and hearing "Faces in the Hall" by Gym Class Heroes for the first time, though its definitely a junior high song so don't take that as a music recommendation. There are even some Queer People of Color artists out there who have been out there fighting homophobia in their communities that will never get the level of credit that Macklemore has.

    It seems very parallel for me when Western organizations/activists get credit for fighting for the rights of women or queer persons in countries like Saudi Arabia or Uganda without any recognition of the people who actually live there and have been fighting that fight there for decades or more. The parallel even extends to me to the commodification of those struggles. Like suddenly its profitable to be for marriage equality or against homophobic laws overseas.

    I totally agree with Toni on this. I feel like this was much more of a risk for MURS, even with or especially with the respect he has in rap culture.

    It was an awesome to see this on here. Thanks Maddie!