Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly known as Professor Macklemore, is a indie artist and musician. Macklemore’s musical history tells us, though he was not born to a musical family, both of his parents were very supportive of his musical ventures. Haggerty was six years old when hip hop first came into his life by way of Digital Underground. As he grew older, he and his friends spent their summers making tents to stay in, listening to the radio, and making dubs also mix-tapes of played songs, as they were unable to buy any because they were underage and had no parental consent. Macklemore was fourteen when he started writing lyrics. At this age, his friends referred to him as Möcklimore. Attending Garfield High School, Macklemore observed a strong racial divide. Despite living in an all-white neighborhood, his school was racially diverse. Macklemore states that he came to reflect on his ignorance of social status at the time and how race impacted the areas where one was able to live and work. When he started to rap, Macklemore listened to “a lot of West Coast underground hip hop .. Freestyle Fellowship .. Aceyalone, Living Legends (From California)”, Wu-Tang Clan, “Nas, Talib ..” being of much influence on him. Check out his viral music video “Thrift Shop”…
“Thrift Shop” is a song by the Seattle, Washington based rapper Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis. The track was released as the fifth and final single from their collaborative debut studio album The Heist (2012) and features vocals from Wanz. Despite being released on Macklemore’s independent label, with distribution by ADA, the single was met with unexpected commercial success, peaking on the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 1 while selling over 2 million copies in total. A viral music video was released back in August 2012, to accompany the song’s release.
The hit viral video was Directed By Jon Jon Augustavo, Ryan Lewis, Ben Haggerty and Produced By Hollis Wong-Wear, Tricia Davis, Zach Quillen. Lead Grip: David Herberg along with Grip Assistants: Josh Marten, Jay Neilson and on set Stylists: Annie Murphy, Alex Nordstrom. Additional vocals by Wanz and Brooklyn Grinnell. According to Macklemore and Ryan’s tumblr blog, they say “The video was shot over the course of about 4 days, in Seattle, at Red Light Vintage, Fremont Vintage Mall, Goodwill Sodo Outlet, Value Village Capitol Hill, etc. All really great places, check them out if you’re in Seattle. Thank you for all of your support in watching it, too. We’re all very flattered by the response it’s received.”
Lyrically, the “Thrift Shop“ song portrays Macklemore’s interest in purchasing cheap clothing from thrift shops, while disdaining designer labels and popular trends. He claims to enjoy donning “your grandad’s clothes”, in addition to buying something just because “it was 99 cents”, regardless of its poor condition at the instance of the purchase. Proudly rapping “I wear your granddad’s clothes / I look incredible / I’m in this big ass coat / From that thrift shop down the road.” The songs hook totally sets the feel of the catchy lyrics, making you feel the need to bob your head to the swinging beat, “I’m gonna pop some tags / Only got twenty dollars in my pocket / I – I – I’m hunting, looking for a come-up / This is fucking awesome”
Macklemore works with Ryan Lewis (producer), Andrew Joslyn (violin) and Owuor Arunga (trumpet). Haggerty has been releasing music independently since 2000, and has since gained a significant online fanbase. As an independent artist he has released one mixtape, three EPs and two albums without any major label support. Macklemore released his debut studio album The Heist back in October 2012. During July 2012, Haggerty and Lewis announced that their debut full-length album, The Heist, would be released on October 9, as well as a subsequent world tour to promote the release.
Some of Mackelmore’s previously released singles “My Oh My”, “Wing$” and “Can’t Hold Us” were announced to be included on the album as was the song “Make the Money”. “Can’t Hold Us” was used as soundtrack for Miller Brewing Company beer ad in UK and Ireland during June 2012, which increased Macklemore’s recognition within Europe and also in the United Kingdom as his popularity exploded.
“Same Love“ was also released in July 2012, and songs “White Walls” featuring ScHoolboy Q and “Jimmy Iovine” featuring Ab-Soul were confirmed to be included on the album. On October 30, 2012, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show performing their single “Same Love“ and then again on January 18, 2013, performing their single “Thrift Shop“. He is a part of BET‘s Music Matters campaign. During January 2013, Music Choice featured Macklemore in the brand new series Primed, which focuses solely on emerging artists.
In this short behind the scenes film (seen above), Jabari Johnson traveled to Seattle to spend the week with Macklemore and Ryan as they shot their now famous “Thrift Shop” music video, and prepared for the release of “The Heist”. The two brought Jabari into their indie lives and showed his what it takes day after day to reach the level of success they have. In 2008, Macklemore went to rehab for drug-addiction, alcoholism and related obsessive behavior that contributed to his problems. He spent most of his early twenties “trying to fight [his] way out of that (way of life).” He explained, “I want to be someone who is respected and not just in terms of my music. I want to be respected in terms of the way that I treat people. The way, the subjects in which I choose to .. address through my music. And not because I’m, like, trying to make records about them. It’s just that’s what’s important to me. Music is my creative outlet in terms of expressing what is important to me; what has importance, what has a value. And I wanna be respected for that.”
Macklemore first met Ryan Lewis back during 2006. Ryan spent a few years working on Macklemore’s promotion as a photographer. They would soon become good friends. Ryan would go on to produce for Macklemore, the two eventually working full-time as a title-credited duo. During and interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mackelmore and Ryan tells them about their fan base and how important they are, “Our fanbase really is family to us. We have contests where they can come and partake in the celebration of when we get bigger. We’re constantly trying to think of ways to engage with our audience because that’s the reason why we’re here. That’s the reason why we’ve gotten any of the press that we’ve gotten. We’ve gotten to festivals because fans connect with it on a personal level.”
What are you thoughts about Macklemore and Ryan’s viral music video and behind the scenes video? Please share your thoughts, opinions and comments with me below…