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I can't lie: my Spotify listening of late has been all Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, all the time. Their hip hop album The Heist is the best I've heard all year and that's saying something because it was a good year for music. And it doesn't hurt that Macklemore — aka Ben Haggerty — is easy on the eyes, too. I daresay he looks like a more blonde, masculine version of The Gos.
You've probably heard Macklemore's suddenly-everywhere song "Thrift Shop," which is all about the sweet deals he gets at the Goodwill. But there's more to him than just his threads: he battled a prescription cough syrup addiction, which he raps all about in "Starting Over." Haggerty grew up in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle, Washington, obsessed with rap music but also raised in the Catholic Church. If Wikipedia is to be believed, after this tall drink of water attended Evergreen State College, he ran music workshops at a juvenile detention center.
He's smart, too. In "Ten Thousand Hours," Macklemore raps about his art degree and his love of Basquiat. From songs like "Same Love" (about gay rights and marriage equality), to "Jimmy Iovine" (about how the music industry exploits artists), to "Make The Money" (about how true success comes from within), each and every one of the songs on The Heist is soulful and deep. He speaks out about about sexism and homophobia both in his lyrics and in interviews. What's not to love about lyrics like:
"The greatest trick that the devil ever pulled
Was convincing women that they looked
Better in their makeup"
If you haven't watched the NPR Tiny Desk Concert with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, drop what you're doing and watch it now. SO GOOD.
Contact the author of this post at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.