Macklemore (born Ben Haggerty June 18, 1983) is an American rapper from Seattle, Washington. Growing up in Seattle, Macklemore attended Garfield High School and Edward Murrow High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree at The Evergreen State College in Olympia. Interested in reaching a younger generation through his music, he took a job at a juvenile-detention facility. There, he was a part of a program called "Gateways" which was organized around rap.
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.