There are several things the northwest is known for: coffee, rain, trees, and Macklemore. On October 20, one didn’t have to go far to find all of these things in Eugene. Rapper Macklemore and producer Ryan Lewis are currently on tour for their new album The Heist, which sold out their stop at the McDonald Theater with ease. Although the album has only been out for a few mere weeks, the venue was filled with college-aged kids rapping every word to every song, creating an unstoppable energy.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis aren’t your typical flashy hip-hop artists. The duo approaches music with the mission of respect, honesty, and quirkiness—a combination that has slowly but surely built them recognition around the globe.
Born and raised in Seattle, Ben “Macklemore” Haggerty defines the northwest. He radiates coolness. And his music? Exceptional. His lyrics aren’t offensive and suppressing—they are honest and hopeful. Unlike so many other popular hip-hop artists today, Macklemore didn’t stake his claim by promoting drugs and womanizing. Instead, the independent artist gained popularity by rapping lyrics that a fan base could connect with. He advocates for acceptance, equality, and individuality. His positive message resonates with youth from all walks of life, something he accomplished completely on his own—no big record label or crazy management team deciding his every move.
With this approach, Macklemore has struck gold. The Heist, his second album, hit the number two spot on the Billboard charts and became the number one selling album on iTunes upon its release. It is accomplishments like these that make this homegrown artist something the northwest is proud of. There is something special about the way Macklemore and Lewis have made their own joint effort work on a larger scale, proving that they are here to stay.
First image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/der_robert/7547596980