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Born in 1983, Ben Hagerty (Maclemore) is an American rapper and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Influenced by east coast underground rappers Wu-Tang Clan and Nas, Maclemore began his life of music at a young age. Although his parents were not musicians, they supported his musical endeavors. While attending The Evergreen State College, the singer got involved with the local youth in order to spread a positive message through his music. Later, Maclemore graduated with his bachelor’s degree and began his music career.
In 2000, the soloist recorded his first EP, Open Your Eyes under the name Professor Maclemore. The singer kept the name for a while longer but dropped “Professor” before he released, The Language of My World. Maclemore produced and sold the record on his own accord, earning him a small following. In 2006, he met his future musical partner, Ryan Lewis.
The duo began together with Lewis donating artwork and Maclemore contributing the music. For the next 3 years, Maclemore performed at all the major Washington festivals including Bumbershoot and the Sasquatch Music Festival. During this time, he released singles “Good” and The Unplanned Mixtape. He and Lewis released their first album The VS. and The VS, Redux with the help of Blue Scholars.
After playing “My Oh My,” for dead Seattle Mariners announcer, Dave Niehaus, Maclemore and Lewis began a long tour. Their US stops included performances in Pullman, Washington, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza. One year later, they began work on their next project.
In 2012, Maclemore and Lewis released The Heist. Although the pair did not have a label, the record became a huge success. It appeared No. 2 on Billboard charts and sold over 75,000 copies in the first week. Previous singles “My Oh My” and "Can’t Hold Us” featured on the record along with hits “Same Love” and “White Walls.” The record earned the band four Grammy awards and seven nominations. Afterwards, Maclemore and Lewis performed on The Ellen Degeneres Show and Late Night with Jimmey Fallon. In 2013, the pair announced that there should be an album ready in the next three years.