Macklemore & Ryan Lewis crowned a glorious night in Brooklyn with a VMA performance of their Best Video With a Social Message-winning "Same Love." The hip-hop duo were joined onstage by Mary Lambert, who holds down the song's chorus duties, and surprise guest Jennifer Hudson, who helped trill the track home. Before that, openly gay NBA basketball star Jason Collins and the Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky had joined up to give a spoken introduction to what's quickly become an equality anthem.
Macklemore has described "Same Love" as being socially relevant as "equality is at the forefront of what's going on in politics right now." The award-winning clip, which was co-directed by Ryan Lewis, strikes a poignant note, and it's a vibe that continued at the Barclays Center as giant American flags were raised to reveal a dusky and intimate stage setting. From there, Macklemore aired out a measured and sensitive rendering of his lyrics. Sporting a natty pastel blazer, the coiffed rapper seemed emotionally moved as he recited his rhymes.
In winning the Best Video With a Social Message category, "Same Love" fought off heavyweight VMA competition from Beyoncé, Miguel, Kelly Clarkson and Snoop and Drake, who collaborated on the anti-firearm ode "No Guns Allowed." It was part of a bonanza night for Mack & Ryan as they also overcame fierce challenges from Kendrick Lamar and their host A$AP Rocky to take home the Best Hip-Hop Video for "Can't Hold Us"