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Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Biography


Home > Music > M > Macklemore & Ryan Lewis > Biography


Birth Name: Ben Haggerty
Born: 1983/06/18
Birth Place: Seattle, Washington
Years Active: 2000–present
Genres: Hip Hop, Northwest Hip Hop


Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is an American hip-hop duo from Seattle, Washington. Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) is a rap artist while Lewis is a DJ and producer. The pair first teamed together in 2009 and have become a collaborative unit ever since.

Macklemore has been releasing music independently since 2000, and has since gained a significant online fan base. Macklemore recorded an EP titled “Open Your Eyes” in 2000 under the name Professor Macklemore, which he distributed himself. 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 and Ryan Lewis created the “VS. Redux “EP. Macklemore used his experience with substance abuse to create the mixtape's critically acclaimed song "Otherside," which sampled the Red Hot Chili Peppers song of the same name.

Macklemore’s absence from releasing music between 2005 and 2009 is attributed to his problems with substance abuse. He celebrated two years of sobriety in early August 2010, as stated during his performance at the Seattle Capitol Hill Block Party 2010. In December 2010, Macklemore 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.

“The Heist,” the debut full-length album by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was self-released in October 2012. “The Heist” debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Top Rap Albums charts. Some of the guests on the record included Ben Bridwell, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q and Allen Stone. All of the album’s tracks were written by Macklemore and produced by Ryan Lewis.