Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Remind Fans About Trayvon Martin At AMAs

By Sean Lynch

The 2013 American Music Awards were the topic of conversation on just about everyone’s social-timelines last night. The focal point was the award for Best Hip-Hop Album, which was a three-way crapshoot between Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar and Jay Z. The “Thrift Shop” tandem managed to put up a win up against two of the industry’s best–and their big award, plus their acceptance speech really got fans talking with references to Trayvon Martin and issues of racial profiling. 

On Twitter, many viewers questioned the validity of the group’s win for The Heist and some even went as far as to question the motive behind their acceptance speech, which aired via-satellite from Miami, Florida. Others gave the group props for using a national platform to spread an important message.

“Now that I’m sitting here in front of millions of people, I’d like to address something extremely important to me,” Macklemore told the audience. “I was talking to my friend before the show and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote. He said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ And due to the fact that we are in Florida tonight accepting this award, I want to acknowledge Trayvon Martin and the hundreds and hundreds of kids each year that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it. This is really happening. These are our friends, our neighbors, our peers, and our fans, and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”

The duo who are currently on tour until mid-December, and recently announced that they would be taking a break following next years Grammy Awards, immediately received criticism from a percentage of viewers watching the awards-show.

 

— Gavin Lee (@GoddamnItGavin) November 25, 2013

— Max (@MAX1MIZE) November 25, 2013

 

 

 

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis continue to take a stand on equality and social issues within their music and performances. The duo’s widely-popular single “Same Love” focuses on same-sex marriage, while an early fan favorite “Wings,” carries a tune focused on the world of consumerism and the dangers surrounding it.

In fact the duo has touched on how tough it is to take a stance on an issue of race, during “A Wake,” on The Heist. During his second verse, Macklemore finds himself stuck on whether to voice his opinion, even if it comes with heavy backlash. “Fighting for a freedom that my people stole, Don’t wanna make all my white fans uncomfortable. ‘But you don’t even have a f—in’ song for radio. Why you out here talking race, trying to save the f—ing globe?’ Don’t get involved if the cause isn’t mine. White privilege, white guilt, at the same damn time. So we just party like it’s 1999. Celebrate the ignorance while these kids keep dying,” raps Macklemore.