Consider this our encore applause for Macklemore's performance at Preakness.
This weekend, the self-made Seattle rapper took the stage at the Triple Crown's second jewel and delivered a set that included his two most recognizable songs -- "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us" -- but also the song "Same Love," in which he stands up for same-sex marriage and gay rights in an unabashedly forward way.
Here's a link to the song's video on YouTube.
As the Sun's own Wesley Case puts it in his review:
The set's best moment came when Macklemore performed "Same Love," a song that has deeply resonated with supporters of gay marriage.
"I believe in tolerance. I believe in compassion," he said.
The crowd, full of fans who looked to be college students or recent graduates, agreed for the most part. Cameras captured young female fans singing the chorus in earnest.
Just this weekend, I was reading a feature on the straight white lyricist called "The Making of Macklemore" in Out Magazine, which calls "Same Love," which features Mary Lambert, nothing less than "hip-hop's first gay anthem."
It's here that I would like to say that plenty of LGBT rappers have spoken up themselves about their lives, including Baltimore rapper DDm, who Brandon Weigel wrote about for us last summer. One snippet:
"Being a black, gay, male hip-hop artist who is aggressive and who can stand next to his straight counterparts, that is very intimidating to a culture that is obsessed with hyper-masculinity and a very misanthropic view on homosexuals [and] women, as well," said DDm, who lives in Mondawmin. "When you have somebody who can bust through those stereotypes and can kind of put you on your toes, that's scary, and they don't want to deal with that. It's not that good homosexual acts don't exist; they don't want them to exist."
Still, Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis are bringing the message in their own way, and reaching a lot of people.
The Out Magazine story says Macklemore was raised in a gay-friendly district of Seattle, grew up around gay people and has gay family members he is close to.
A lot of straight allies to the LGBT community are allies because someone they can relate to gave them some pro-LGBT perspective.
If Macklemore does that for just one kid, he's done a service to the gay community. And I suspect he may be doing it for many more kids than just one.
So for that: Encore, Macklemore. Encore.