“Same Love – feat. Mary Lambert” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis falls into the rap/hip-hop genre as well as the pop genre. Lambert’s emotional chorus lends itself to pop, and the rap verses are quite obviously rap.

Before doing any research, it is clear that rap is an odd genre to have a song about LGBTQ+ rights. In the song, Macklemore literally says, “if I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me.” Songs that fall into this genre are generally considered misogynistic and disrespectful to certain groups. In this article, it is pointed out that in 2013, the rap songs that topped the charts were widely disrespectful to a lot of groups, aside from “Same Love.” This song was a break from hateful songs in the rap category.

Another aspect of the song that is pretty unique to hip-hop is the piano accompaniment throughout the song instead of synthetic sounds that are normally used. It is somewhat common for there to be a singer within a rap song as Lambert is in “Same Love,” but her depth of emotion serves as a sharp contrast to the rap portions of the song.

One way I think this song does embody rap characteristics is in the fact that it is trying to convey a message about social change, which a lot of rap songs do, though we typically associate rap with advocating for rights for people of color.

This song has some notes of the pop genre to it, which is pointed out in a New York Times article about the song’s success. The article states that there are a lot of pro-gay marriage anthems in pop, but this one is unique because it comes from the point of view of a straight white man. Radio stations responded well to the song despite its political implications and the fact that it wasn’t a single on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ album, “The Heist.” A D.J., Peter Rosenberg is quoted in the article stating, “I’m not saying that no one will resist. Hip-hop still has some catching up to do on this issue.” This makes it clear that an LGBTQ+ hip-hop song in 2013 was ahead of its time.

In terms of “Same Love” within the pop genre, pop is typically not associated with social messages or anything of too much substance, which serves as a sharp contrast from this anthem. There are songs that deal with societal issues, but it is not common of this genre and the songs are not quite as haunting as I find this one to be. This idea is discussed in this article from The Guardian. According to Gary Nunn, this song is a great leap in the direction of substantial music for both the hip-hop and pop genres.

For all of these reasons, I think “Same Love – feat. Mary Lambert” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis borrows from the typical characteristics of the hip-hop and pop genres, but goes beyond them in conveying more serious messages and advocating for marginalized groups who often are not represented in music.