Macklemore & Ryan Lewis may not have been in Los Angeles to accept their trophy for Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album at the 2013 American Music Awards Sunday night (November 24), so the rapper/producer duo did decide to make a statement from Miami.
Always known for making statements on equality, the duo used the show’s huge platform to remember teen Trayvon Martin, who was shot in 2012. (George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Martin.)
“Thank you to the AMAs. It has been an absolutely incredible year, I feel extremely blessed to be accepting an award at the AMAs. And now that I’m sitting here in front of millions of people, I’d like to address something extremely important to me,” Macklemore shared, with Lewis sitting by his side.
“I was talking to my friend … before the show and he reminded me of a great Martin Luther King quote — ’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 that are dying due to racial profiling and the violence that follows it,” he continued.
Most recently, there have been two high-profile deaths linked to racial profiling. In September, former Florida A&M football player Jonathan A. Ferrell was killed by a white police officer in North Carolina when Ferrell was seeking help after a car crash. Then, in November, Michigan resident Renisha McBride died after she was shot by a man after she knocked on his door after she crashed her car late at night.
“This is really happening,” he said. “Our friends, our neighbors, our peers our fans and it’s time that we look out for the youth and fight against racism and the laws that protect it.”
Macklemore name checks the late teen in the song “A Wake.” After their moving speech, the guys took the stage in Miami, performing remotely, for a spirited rendition of their The Heist single, “Can’t Hold Us.”