Macklemore holds a singular place in both the Pacific Northwest and now across the country as he emerges as a premier national hip-hop artist with numerous career highlights to his name. A genuine lyricist and a captivating performer, Macklemore, with his DJ/production partner Ryan Lewis, have garnered critical acclaim, a devoted fan base, and a steadily growing anticipation for their upcoming work.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ music is distinct for channeling cultural moments and refreshingly self-aware testimony through candid lyricism and expertly crafted composition. Their work has impressed and enthused a multitude of listeners, nowhere more evident than in the populist barometer of the internet, where some of Macklemore’s songs, videos and even fan-uploaded media have over one million listens and views. The recent single “Wings” is an anthemic meditation on being of the Air Jordan generation with a lucid perspective on an otherwise trodden motif. “Otherside” offers a darkly searing portrait of his own story of addiction and the hype of substance within hip-hop culture. Crowd-favorite songs like “And We Danced” and “Irish Celebration” demonstrate Macklemore’s ability to get raucous with disarming candor and relentlessly energetic showmanship.
On their first national headlining tour in the spring of 2011, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis packed houses and sold out a majority of their shows, including those in New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and a three-night run at Seattle’s Showbox at the Market, where over 3,500 tickets sold out in less than 48 hours.
Macklemore’s freshman release in 2005, Language of My World, featured production by Rhymesayer’s Budo and was well-received by circles who noted Macklemore’s fresh perspective and a striking balance of insight and levity. After several subsequent years of artistic stagnation and frustration due to substance abuse, Macklemore made a commitment to sobriety with a newfound, more intrinsic dedication to his music. The catalyst to this change was establishing a partnership and ongoing collaboration with Ryan Lewis, an accomplished, consummate artist in design, photography, and production, who also acts as Macklemore’s touring DJ. They released the VS EP in 2009 & VS Redux in 2010, the latter reaching #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop charts.
The pair has been featured at a significant number of major festivals and showcases, including the 2011 Rock The Bells Tour, Soundset (MN), MusicFest NW (OR), Bumbershoot (Seattle), Sasquatch (WA), Outside Lands (San Francisco), and a much-talked about run at SXSW, including a set at the Fader Fort. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis also performed their tribute song “My Oh My” at the Seattle Mariners home opener on April 8, 2011, at Safeco Field for over 40,000 attendees. Publication appearances of note include a “Show-And-Prove” feature in XXL Magazine, front-page feature on the Seattle Times and the cover of City Arts Magazine.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are now hard at work on their first full-length album as well as a 7” that will feature two new songs later on this year. For all the thresholds that they’ve crossed—always bolstered by the loyalty and love of listeners and fans—the momentum that Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have generated makes their breakthrough to new heights imminent.