Macklemore and Ryan Lewis couldn’t attend the American Music Awards in Los Angeles Sunday night due to their touring schedule. So when the duo won Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop album for The Heist, they accepted their award via satellite from Miami — where Macklemore was inspired by his surroundings to take a political bent in his speech.
After opening with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. — “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — Macklemore brought up one of this year’s most hot-button issues: the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin and the trial of his killer, George Zimmerman.
“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,” Macklemore said to cheers and applause. “This is really happening. 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.”
Watch his speech below.