Macklemore, the stage name of rapper, MC and songwriter Ben Haggerty, grew up in Seattle, Washington, and earned a bachelor's degree from Evergreen State College. As an avid music fan throughout much of his youth, Haggerty began working at a juvenile detention facility hosting music workshops where his interest in hip-hop and rap continued to grow. After cutting his teeth in this kind of environment, Haggerty decided to begin working on his own solo career, releasing his first EP, Open Your Eyes, in 2000 under the name Professor Macklemore. He would release his first full-length album in 2005 dubbed The Language of My World, as simply Macklemore. After gaining traction through online promotion and underground circles, Macklemore hooked up with producer Ryan Lewis to create a series of EPs and the two would become a collaborative unit moving forward.
The Unplanned Mix Tape and VS. Redux EP were two releases done by Haggerty and Lewis and they quickly began to gain traction on iTunes downloading rankings throughout the late 2000s. The singles "The Town," "My Oh My" and "Wings" were well-received by Macklemore's fans and he continued to gain a significant following by his music spreading through a variety of channels.
After paying his dues by playing small clubs and gradually increasing his profile in hip-hop circles, Haggerty and Lewis scored a huge hit in 2012 with the release of Macklemore's first true debut album, The Heist. Upon its release, The Heist would hit No. 1 on the iTunes albums chart and peak at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The record featured a number of singles that were on previous EPs, as well as new tracks like "Thrift Shop," which would climb all the way to No. 21 on Billboard's Hot 100 songs chart.
Following the runaway success of The Heist, Macklemore went on an extensive fall tour throughout the latter half of 2012 to promote the album and expand their ever-growing legion of fans, which he calls the SharkFaceGang. Haggerty and Lewis even give back to their fans each year with an annual pizza party by entering a contest by showcasing their artistic skills through singing, painting, drawing, etc. and get a chance to see a live performance by the duo. All in all, Macklemore has all the makings of an indie rags to riches story and has only scratched the surface of their incredible potential.