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Macklemore is the stage name of American rapper Ben Haggerty who gained much notoriety following the release of his 2012 hip hop song “Thrift Shop” in 2012.
In May 2009, Macklemore was featured in the hip hop song “Good” by The Physics. Later that year, Macklemore released The Unplanned Mixtape and The VS. EP with producer Ryan Lewis. In 2010, Macklemore’s VS. Redux EP ranked at #7 on the iTunes Hip Hop chart.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ released their debut album The Heist in October 2012. The album contained the single “Thrift Shop,” which describes Macklemore’s penchant for discovering rare bargains at thrift clothing stores, while eschewing expensive designer brands. The music video became widely popular online shortly after it was uploaded to YouTube in August of 2012, inspiring the creation of many parody video tributes. As of May 2014, the video has received over 532 million views, 2.5 million up votes and 413,000 comments.
Additionally, the album included the track “Same Love,” which was recorded during a campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Washington and contains lyrics promoting gay and lesbian rights. As of May 2014, the music video has accumulated upwards of 118 million views, 985,000 upvotes and 420,000 comments on YouTube (shown below).
Social Media Presence
Anti-Semitic Costume Controversy
On May 16th, 2014, Macklemore performed a surprise set at Seattle’s Experience Music Project Museum wearing a costume consisting of a witch nose, black beard and black wig. The outfit was interpreted by many as a caricature of Jewish stereotypes and sparked several online discussions debating if Macklemore was being anti-Semitic. On May 18th, actor Seth Rogen tweeted the photo at Macklemore, joking that he was not an authentic rapper.
macklemore</a>, first you trick people into thinking you're a rapper, now you trick them into thinking you're Jewish? <a href="http://t.co/3rtaE4GHje">pic.twitter.com/3rtaE4GHje</a></p>— Seth Rogen (Sethrogen) May 18, 2014
On the following day, Macklemore tweeted a defense of the costume, claiming that the outfit was a random collection of costume pieces that were not meant to depict any ethnic group.
A fake witches nose, wig, and beard = random costume. Not my idea of a stereotype of anybody.— Macklemore (@macklemore) May 19, 2014
Macklemore was born Ben Haggerty on June 19th, 1983 in Seattle, Washington, where he lived most of his life. In 2008, Macklemore was admitted to rehab for drug and alcohol addiction. In January 2013, Macklemore was engaged to his girlfriend Tricia Davis.
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