Rapper Macklemore brought a bit of politics to the American Music Awards on Sunday night, paying tribute to slain teen Trayvon Martin and others killed because of laws like “Stand Your Ground” in his acceptance speech for a hip-hop honor.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis took home the award for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop album for their record, Heist, during the AMA’s. The duo accepted the award via satellite video from Miami, Fla., where they are currently touring, and Macklemore used his time to address the death of Sanford, Fla., teen Trayvon Martin and others killed because of racial profiling.
“Now that I’m sitting here in front of millions of people, I’d like to address something extremely important to me. I was talking to my friend … before the show and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote,” the rapper told the audience. “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.”
The “Thrift Shop”artist continued as the audience erupted into cheers and applause, saying it is time to fight racism and laws like “Stand Your Ground.”
“This is really happening,” he said. “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.”
After George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed 17-year-old Martin, was acquitted several months ago, the country erupted in protest of “Stand Your Ground” laws. Zimmerman’s lawyers, however, never used the law as part of their defense.
Macklemore is hardly a stranger to politics and rarely shies away from controversial topics. The rapper met with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) last week to discuss youth engagement in politics, and his song “Same Love” sent ripples throughout the entertainment industry for its pro-gay marriage message.
Watch Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ acceptance speech below via MotaHipHop