Meet Macklemore: Hipster-Hip-Hop Fusion Makes Underground Rumblings

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This post is part of our Game Changer Series, which is dedicated to bringing uniquely inspiring artists into the spotlight. Finding gems in a sea of similar talent, Nao does what it does best in the crowded music industry: Never Accept Ordinary.

Straight from Seattle, hip-hop local legends Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are making themselves known across the country with hard-to-forget lyrics, a hard-to-shake image of a glittery man-onesie, and hipster vibes in sync with rap beats. Their latest hit, “Thrift Store,” is one you may already have stuck in your head, and the good news is that we’re expecting to hear a lot more from them.

Here’s the eccentric music video — the perfect representation of their eclectic sound and image. It’s true alternative/hip-hop fusion.

Ben Haggerty is Macklemore’s real name and has made his biggest impression at Lollapalooza. His first album The Heist with Lewis as his producer was released on Oct. 9, introducing his music to more fans hungry for this new sound, especially for the messages his songs send. To show his appreciation to fans, Macklemore took to Twitter and asked them to tweet photos of their best thrift shop outfits for a chance to meet him in Seattle.

Macklemore speaks very candidly about his struggles with drug addiction and his feelings about the gay and lesbian community.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Macklemore discussed his feelings about the homophobia he sees in hip-hop and why he has a personal problem with it:

On top of the issue of gay bullying, the issue of homophobia in hip-hop, no one’s ever really talked about it. Growing up in Capitol Hill in Seattle, having two gay uncles, a gay godfather, being around the gay community growing up — you could only kind of be silent for so long. So I felt like it was an important issue that I wanted to bring up just in terms of human rights. So I didn’t know how to do it. I tried to write it from the perspective of the gay bullied kid. It didn’t come out right. Ryan critiqued it and said, ‘This is a more personal issue for you. Go back to the drawing board.’

Which artist has been making waves in your life lately?

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