Macklemore shocks music industry
Ben Haggerty, better known by his stage name Macklemore, performed at WaMu Theater in Seattle Friday, launching the world tour of his first full-length album “The Heist.”
The concert was by far Macklemore’s biggest headliner show, with a sold out crowd of 7,500 fans. Four days before his concert, Macklemore released “The Heist,” which took the number one spot on iTunes for four straight days — the first time in iTunes history an independent artist has reached the number one album spot.
“The Heist” covers a variety of topics from drug addiction to same-sex marriage to materialism. A song entitled “Jimmy Iovine” compares getting signed with a major record label to pulling off a heist. The song is named after Jimmy Iovine, the managing chairman of Interscope Records. As the song continues, Macklemore describes his experience with a major record label and comes to the conclusion that signing with the label would have been a mistake for him and his production studio.
In his song “Wing$” he discusses the effects of materialism through buying a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes. “Same Love” addresses same-sex marriage and “Starting Over” describes his recent drug relapse.
Macklemore fans are drawn to his relevant topics and openness with his personal struggles, according to Kawika Doughty, 18 of Bellevue, Wash. Otto Shih, 17, said Macklemore represents the Northwest and the values they uphold through rap.
Macklemore’s right hand man and best friend is Ryan Lewis. Lewis creates beats, arranges all songs for the band, and produces music and music videos for the group. Macklemore and Lewis met in 2005 and have been working together since 2009. Their partnership has created multiple successful singles, and now the full-length album.
Macklemore collaborated with several artists on this album, including Ray Dalton, Buffalo Madonna, Mary Lambert, Allen Stone, Ab Soul and many more. The variety of artists creates something new in each song, according to Dawson Henshaw.
Macklemore now hits the road with shows in metropolises like Chicago and New York, but also in small towns like Lansing, Mich, and Carrboro, N.C., until Dec. 11, when he will return to Seattle. Macklemore’s talent is being recognized outside of the Northwest — out of the 47 shows scheduled from Oct. 13 to Dec. 10, all but three are sold out. Macklemore’s new album “The Heist” is connecting with audiences across the country and making waves in the music industry.
Ryan Tarinelli can be reached at email@example.com