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Ben Haggerty, (born June 18, 1983 in Seattle, Washington) better known by his stage name Macklemore, is an American rapper. Macklemore works with Ryan Lewis (Producer) Andrew Joslyn (Violin), Owour Arunga (Trumpet), Zach Fleury (Drums, Guitar, Bass), and Noah Goldberg (Piano). Macklemore has been popular in his hometown of Seattle since the beginning of his musical career at Garfield High School,often performing at the famous Capitol Hill Block Party. In 2008, 2009, and 2011, Macklemore performed at Bumbershoot, a major arts and music festival in Seattle and Sasquatch Music Festival in 2011 . He has been described as a socially conscious rapper, with many of his songs addressing issues surrounding consumerism, race, sexual orientation and drug addiction. Macklemore is set to release his new album this year, as stated in an XXL interview.
Macklemore recorded an EP titled Open Your Eyes in 2000 under the name Professor Macklemore, which he distributed himself. He created his stage name based upon the Seattle Mariners player Mark McLemore. Macklemore dropped "Professor" from his name, and released his first official full-length album, The Language of My World in January 2005. In September 2009, he released The Unplanned Mixtape. In October 2010, he teamed up with DJ Ryan Lewis to create the VS. Redux EP. Macklemore used his experience with substance abuse to create the mixtape's critically acclaimed song "Otherside," which samples the Red Hot Chilli Peppers song of the same name.
Since then, Macklemore has been picked up by The Agency Group,an international booking company who has represented such well-known groups as 3OH!3, A Tribe Called Quest, and Finger Eleven, as well as others.
In 2005, Abyssinian Creole collaborated with Macklemore on the latter's track "Claiming the City."
In the past, Macklemore has struggled with substance abuse problems, including OxyContin. He considers this the reason for his lack of production between 2005 and 2009., But, after cleaning himself up in 2008, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis became a collaborative and creative unit. He celebrated two years of sobriety in early August 2010, as stated during his performance at Capitol Hill Block Party 2010. In late April 2010, he performed an impromptu set at a house party at Colorado College. The set consisted of his track "And We Danced", two consecutive times in front of over two hundred fans. In December 2010, he released a tribute song named "My Oh My" for then recently deceased Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Niehaus, which has received extensive coverage in Seattle media sources. Macklemore performed the song at the 2011 Mariner's Opening Day on April 8.
Macklemore gives back to his fans with an annual pizza party. Fans get the chance to prove their love of music and get a ticket to go to the party by showing off their creativity in a contest. Fans have had to sing, paint, draw, and play to get a chance to meet and watch a performance by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The idea to have these fan appreciation parties was started in 2010.
"Can't Hold Us" was used as soundtrack for Miller beer ad in UK and Ireland, June 2012, increasing Macklemore recognition in Europe.
In July 2012, Haggerty and Lewis announced that their debut full-length album, The Heist LP, will be released on October 9, 2012 as well as a subsequent world tour to promote the release. Previously released singles "Can't Hold Us" and "Make the Money" will be included on the album. On July 18, 2012, the duo released the Mary Lambert-assisted "Same Love" in support of Washington State's Referendum 74 regarding gay marriage. They also announced that the song will be included on the album.