He's gonna pop some tags, but he's only got twenty dollars in his pocket.Ben Haggerty
(born June 19, 1983), known professionally as Macklemore
, is a Seattle-based conscious/alternative hip-hop artist.
After finishing a bachelor's degree, he decided to pursue his musical interests and took a job at a juvenile detention facility, where he was involved in a project called "Gateways", engaging troubled youth through Rap. In 2000 he released the EP Open Your Eyes
under the moniker "Professor Macklemore". Five years later he shortened the name to the current Macklemore and his full-length debut,The Language of My World
, was released.
In 2012, he and producer Ryan Lewis released his first studio album, The Heist
which, despite going under the radar upon release, became a critical and overnight success after the runaway success of its fifth and final single "Thrift Shop". His songs "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us" both peaked at number one on the Billboard
Hot 100, The former even winning the Triple J Hottest 100
for that year, and his album peaked at number two on the Billboard
200, although neither were promoted or advertised on any mainstream media. In 2014, Macklmore won four Grammys, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist
), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop").
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are also on their own independent music label.
This artist displays examples of:
- Album Title Drop:
- At the very end of "Ten Thousand Hours", the first track in The Heist, he says "welcome to the heist" repeatedly.
- In "Jimmy Iovine", he exclaims "heist!" while describing sneaking into an office building.
- Brand Names Are Better: Subverted in The Heist:
- "Wing$" talks about the many violent consequences of materialism and celebrity obsession, specifically Jordan sneakers, which got his cousin slain.
- Mocked much more lightly in "Thrift Shop":
- "Jimmy Iovine" is Macklemore talking about him meeting with a record company, who were trying to make him into a brand name at the cost of leaving him and any artists who helped him with only seven percent of profits, and holding him in debt if he can't sell a hundred thousand records. In this day and age, you're lucky if you sell a thousand. Needless to say, Macklemore doesn't take on the deal.
- The car Macklemore raps about in "White Walls" isn't some ridiculously pricey status symbol car like a Bugatti or Maybach as is popular in today's rap culture but an old school Cadillac like his Grandpa used to have.
- And Ninety Nine Cents: In "Thrift Shop", Macklemore goes,"...but, shit, it was ninety-nine cents!"
- Brick Joke: One of his lines in "Thrift Shop" is "Whatchu know about rockin' the wolf on your noggin?" At the beginning of the music video for "Can't Hold Us", Macklemore is indeed wearing a wolf on his noggin.
- Brief Accent Imitation: While in his Raven Bowie personality (in the songs "And We Danced" and "Castle") Macklemore uses a mock British accent.
- Camp: "Thrift Shop" is a light-hearted track with a not-too-serious music video, and both "And We Danced" and "Castle" features the over-the-top alter ego Raven Bowie.
- Car Song: "White Walls".
- Five-Finger Discount: Implied in "Thrift Shop": "Popping tags" is sometimes used as a euphemism for this.
- Gay Aesop: "Same Love".
- The Garfunkel: Ryan Lewis.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He's been friends with his producer, Ryan Lewis, for a good number of years. He's mentioned in "Jimmy Iovine".
- Lucky Charms Title: "Wing$" on The Heist album.
- Motor Mouth: He can be this in some of his songs. "Can't Hold Us" in particular has him rap really fast.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Thrift Shop" again.
- Not Hyperbole: After saying he's going to "take your Grandad's style" in "Thrift Shop", he promptly adds "No, for real, ask your Grandpa, can I have his hand-me-downs?"
- Rummage Sale Reject: Zebra jammies, big ass coats, and velour jumpsuits are all mentioned in "Thrift Shop". The video features more outrageous outfits.
- The video for "White Walls" includes clips of Macklemore at Dick's Drive-In and driving on Broadway Avenue, two places prominently featured in guest artist and fellow Seattlite Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Posse on Broadway."
- Singer Namedrop:
- In "Can't Hold Us", "Macklemore" is chanted.
- In "Same Love", Macklemore drops his first name, Ben.
- In "Jimmy Iovine", he mentions both himself and Ryan Lewis while talking as the recording company president.
- Sound Effect Bleep: The normal radio edit of "Thrift Shop" includes a rooster sound. Take a guess what it's censoring.
- Spinoff: Mary Lambert's single "She Keeps Me Warm" is an expanded version of the hook she sings on "Same Love".
- Take That:
- In "Jimmy Iovine", Macklemore turns down a snobby record executive who can't remember his name and gives him a terrible contract. Considering how successful he became due to cultivating local and internet fanbases, his career is sort of an example of this trope as well.
- "Thrift Shop" as a whole is one to the high-spending, materialistic lifestyle of modern rappers in general. You don't need to be rich to look awesome. The lyrics feature a more direct one: "I prolly shouda washed this, it smells like R. Kelly's sheets... pissssss..."
- "Same Love" calls out the majority of the rap genre's artists and their fans for being homophobic.
- Toilet Humour: Macklmore's Instagram video about toilet etiquette.
- X Meets Y: In "Ten Thousand Hours" he describes himself as Kanye West meets David Bowie.