Over the past few months, an independent rapper from Seattle and his producer have taken the music world by storm with catchy, memorable tunes that have helped them become one of the biggest indie success stories ever.
Now, a song written over a year ago in support of Washington state’s Referendum 74 legalizing same-sex marriage is posed to become not only the duo’s next big hit, but also an anthem for marriage equality across the country.
“Same Love,” the new song-of-the-now from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, has stormed up the charts and radio station playlists in recent weeks. The song, featuring Seattle-based singer, songwriter and poet Mary Lambert, has peaked at No. 16 on Hot 100 chart as of this week, Billboard reports. Last week, “Same Love” was at No. 28 on the Hot 100; the week before, No. 33. During the week of the DOMA decision, the song sold roughly one-ninth of its total downloads ever. Across sales and radio play, “Same Love” is up this week by about 30 percent, give or take; across streaming services, about 20 percent.
After breaking out with “Thrift Shop,” the duo has become known for its relatable sense of humor and feel-good party anthems, such as second hit “Can’t Hold Us.” Both “Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us” vaulted to No. 1, making Macklemore and Ryan Lewis the first duo in Hot 100 history to have its first two singles reach the top. Not bad, especially considering both singles were independently distributed.
While the goofiness of “Thrift Shop” borders on novelty track and “Can’t Hold Us” is an ear-wormy club banger in the best way, “Same Love” lands on the opposite side of the both spectrums. While not a negative song per se, “Same Love” chronicles the struggles faced by the LGBT community in the fight for marriage equality, borrowing a bit of inspiration from Macklemore’s two gay uncles and gay godfather. There’s an underlying sense of triumph that defines the poignant, piano-led track.
That sense is all the more noticeable nowadays with the song’s chart gains. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26th ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act, the song has continued to garner more and more airplay, seemingly capturing the nation’s mood about gay marriage — and perhaps, ultimately, bringing a few new supporters to the cause.
Michael Martin, CBS Radio’s Vice President of Top 40 Programming, says the increase in airplay makes sense, calling the song and its accompanying video “impactful.”
“Even before DOMA, ‘Same Love’ was a record that when you watched the video, it was just so impactful, and you saw a whole other depth level to the guy that was giving you ‘Thrift Shop’ on one side and ‘Can’t Hold Us’ on the other side,” said Martin, who also heads up programming at multiple CBS stations in San Francisco including 99.7 Now, Alice@97.3 and Live 105