Macklemore Tops the Charts
Written by: Anna Callaghan
Seattleites have something to rally around. Seattle-based rapper Ben Haggerty, better recognized by his performing name, Macklemore, currently has the #1 album in the U.S. on itunes.
“The Heist” was officially released on October 8th after three years of production and rose to the top of the charts within hours, largely due to an organically built following around the world.
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, his producer, have spent the last year selling out shows from San Francisco to Paris, while keeping their roots in Seattle. The duo is unsigned and Macklemore tweeted yesteday that “the people have acted as our record label.”
His local popularity grew after the release of “The Town” a nostalgic track about Seattle, and a corresponding music video that illustrated the story. Seattle has followed him from light-hearted tracks like “And We Danced” to those dealing with drug addiction like the emotional “Otherside.” And the majority of the tracks on the new album feature other Washington-based artists.
On Sunday, Macklemore announced a secret show of the then unreleased album, giving entry to the first 600 people in line. The following day the album streamed on NPR, Macklemore did an AMA on reddit, oh, and topped the charts.
Macklemore’s appeal lies in his self-awareness and vulnerability; his lyrics voice beliefs about what’s right, what’s not, and what we need to do to breach the gap.
His song “Same Love” supporting marriage equality is an emotional and logical appeal to voters, urging them to approve Washington State’s Referendum 74 to legalize same sex marriage.
A more playful track, “Thrift Shop”, showcases the rapper’s personality. The video used a hoard of local extras and may be responsible for increasing nationwide Goodwill sales.
“The Heist” tops Ellie Goulding’s widely-anticipated “Halcyon” and Mumford & Sons’ “Babel”.
Be sure to check out Anna’s blog here!