When Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed their gay rights anthem “Same Love” at the Grammy Awards, it was the last straw for Christian rapper Bizzle, according to an interview with All Hip Hop. Soon afterwards, he released his own song “Same Love (A Response)” about the biblical view of homosexuality. The song has prompted hate mail and death threats from the very people crying for tolerance.
Macklemore’s 2012 “Same Love” relates the fight for gay marriage to the civil rights movement, saying those who promote traditional marriage spew “the same hate that’s caused wars from religion / gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment / The same fight that led people to walk-outs and sit-ins / human rights for everybody there is no difference.” In conjunction with the song’s Grammy performance, the producers of the show arranged a mass wedding—officiated by Queen Latifah—for 33 gay and straight couples.
Bizzle’s response, which uses the same music motif as “Same Love,” quickly garnered 30,000 views on YouTube. In it, Bizzle calls out the media for giving lip service to the idea of tolerance but then branding divergent opinions as hate speech: “I say you wrong and you holla ‘hate’ instantly / But you say we the ones who don’t tolerate differences.” He raps that controlling sexual desires isn’t repressive, but it’s something he also needs to do as a married man.
As an African-American, Bizzle also chafes at the comparison between gay rights and what civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. fought for in the 1960s: “Calling it the new black / tell me where they do that? / They hung us like tree ornaments, where were you at? / They burned us for entertainment, you go through that? / Mom’s raped in front of they kids, while they shoot dad / ever been murdered just for trying to learn how to read bro? / A show of hands … I didn’t think so.”
By the end of the song, he encourages those who are struggling to keep fighting and not give in, and that while everyone, gay or straight, has sinned, “Christ died so that all of us can be born again.”
Slate excoriated Bizzle for not recognizing parallels in the “freedom struggle” of gays and blacks, and for comparing gays and pedophiles in his line “It angers you if I compare you to a pedophile, cuz he sick, right? And you’re better how?” The comparison in the song, however, is not that they are morally equivalent but that both pedophiles and homosexuals claim they were “born this way.” Huffington Post called the song “disturbing” and the Advocate was outraged that Bizzle characterized those in the LGBT community as “sinful, violent, and just like pedophiles.”
Bizzle has collected all the threatening, profanity-laced comments his song has received on a website titled “Let The Tolerance Begin.” One commenter recently wrote, “I seriously hope someone kills this man, and everyone who liked this video, too. There is no room on this earth for evil disgusting intolerant homophobic demons. They are vermin that need to be eradicated. Bizzle and others like him are a disease, a sickness that must be purged from this earth.” Other posters pointed out that gay people have indeed been subjected to violence, citing the example of Matthew Shepherd.
The rapper denies being homophobic and, according to MSNBC’s The Grio, simply wanted to present another side to the issue. He told All Hip Hop, “I feel like we have conversations behind closed doors, but everybody’s afraid to speak, because nobody wants to be labeled a bigot, homophobic, or full of hate. I got tired of walking on eggshells. There has to be an opposing side. The media can’t make people afraid to disagree.”
Listen to writer Jeff Koch discuss more about Bizzle’s controversial rap on The World and Everything in It: