An unlikely song is topping the charts on local radio stations in Cayman.
Same Love, a song by rapper Macklemore that advocates same sex equality and marriage rights, has become a listener favourite on X107.1 and Z99.9.
Blake Rogers and Erin Brady, hosts of Blake and Erin in the Morning on X107.1, said their listeners were quick to embrace the song and that its popularity has been on the rise ever since.
“It’s playing at least 10 times a day on the station,” Rogers said.
Same Love is a deeply personal perspective on the struggle for same sex equality.
In the song, Macklemore raps about the stereotypes perpetuated about members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, the homophobia associated with the hip hop industry and suicides among LGBT youth.
Amid references to the civil rights movement in the US, Macklemore raps that “it’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference”.
Jason Howard, programme director for Z99.9, said Same Love is one of the station’s most played songs every day.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “We have received several calls from listeners praising us for playing it but voicing concern that the island may not approve.”
Same sex rights have long been a controversial subject in the Cayman Islands. In 2008, the country came under international scrutiny when the Royal Cayman Islands Police detained a tourist for kissing his partner in a local bar.
More recently, same sex rights were the subject of debate in May when lawmakers expressed concern that a new Adoption of Children Law might allow members of the LGBT community to adopt children in the Cayman Islands.
To date, however, neither station has received any negative feedback about the song.
Brady pointed out that the song is topping charts around the world.
Same Love reached no. 11 in the Billboard Top 100 in the US, becoming the first Top 40 song to promote same sex equality. The song also reached no. 1 in New Zealand and Australia.
Brady and Howard expressed the hope that Same Love will be a catalyst for conversations about same sex rights in the Cayman Islands.
“I think the point that Macklemore and [producer] Ryan Lewis were trying to make with this song is if you don’t start talking about it, nothing’s going to change,” Brady said.
This is not Macklemore’s first surprise hit. While other rappers focused their lyrics on luxury brands, Macklemore topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with Thrift Shop, a song about shopping for secondhand clothing.
Thrift Shop was the first song since 1994 to reach No. 1 without the support of a major record label.