Ben Haggerty, also known as Macklemore, is a Seattle-based alternative hip-hop/rap 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.
Most recently, he and producer Ryan Lewis released his first studio album, The Heist
which was a critical and overnight success. His songs "Thrift Shop" and "Can't Hold Us" both peaked at number one on the Billboard
Hot 100, and his album peaked at number two on the Billboard
200, although neither were promoted or advertised on any mainstream media.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are also on their own independent music label.
This singer displays examples of:
- Acting for Two: In the "And We Danced" video, Macklemore is mainly Raven Bowie, but briefly appears as the neighbor bothered by the party.
- 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:
- "Wings" talks about the many violent consequences of materialism and celebrity obsession, specifically Jordan sneakers.
- Mocked much more lightly in "Thrift Shop":
- 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.
- 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.
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Thrift Shop" again.
- One Hit Wonder: Thankfully, he appears to have escaped this - both "Same Love" and "Can't Hold Us" have charted in the top 30, and the attention garnered by the former's subject, as well as the latter's energetic placement in certain commercials (primarily in Microsoft's commercials) and repeating its chart topping success has ensured that the general public knows him as more than just 'the Thrift Shop guy.'
- Conversely, the guest artists in each of those three songs (Mary Lambert in "Same Love", Ray Dalton in "Can't Hold Us", and especially (Tee)Wanz in "Thrift Shop") might all end up being best known for doing the choruses (and maybe some of their extra parts) in Macklemore's songs, partially due to all of them not being well-known beforehand. The reason why Wanz stands out the most is due to his age, as people in their 50s don't usually have top 40 hits.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Zebra jammies, big ass coats, and velour jumpsuits are all mentioned in "Thrift Shop". The video features more outrageous outfits.
- 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.
- 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.
- X Meets Y: In "Ten Thousand Hours" he describes himself as Kanye West meets David Bowie.