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Background

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Macklemore took to performing as a child, and was influenced by the likes of hip-hop groups Kris Kross and Digital Underground as well as pop superstar Michael Jackson. He eventually attended Garfield High School, the alma mater of musical luminaries like Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix.

It was at Garfield where he started to use liquor and drugs heavily, though his parents tried to end the habit by moving him to another school and into a college-credit program. He attended Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and in 2000 released an EP dubbed Open Your Eyes under the moniker Professor Macklemore. He released his full-length debut, The Language of My World, in 2005.

At an early age, Ryan Lewis played guitar in rock bands and nursed a growing interest in music production around the age of 15. He attended Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington and graduated from Roosevelt High School in Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington majoring in Comparative History of Ideas.

Ryan became a professional photographer and videographer and started to take photos for Macklemore in the summer of 2006. In late 2008, after having produced a few trial run songs together, they collaborated fully on a project that later became the VS. EP.

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The team

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The amazing story

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Ryan Lewis was born on March 25, 1988, in Spokane, Washington, He developed an interest in music during his youth, playing the guitar and working in media production. He eventually took up photography as well. He befriended Seattle hip-hop artist Macklemore via Myspace in 2006. "He recorded a track called 'Welcome to Myspace,' and there wasn't anything like it at the time," Lewis said of his future partner in a 2013 Billboard interview. "No one was writing about meeting women on Myspace or checking your messages over and over again." Lewis worked with the rapper first as a creative consultant. Later, after Macklemore recovered from major substance-abuse issues, the two decided to team up and work together musically.

Ben Haggerty was born on June 19, 1983, Macklemore was formerly known as Professor Macklemore. He held a prominent place across the country as he emerged as a premier national hip-hop artist with numerous career highlights to his name. Along with his DJ/production partner Ryan Lewis, he garnered critical acclaim, a devoted fan base, and a steadily growing anticipation for his upcoming work. Though he came from a musical family, he had a strong passion as a musician. He started writing his own lyrics when he was fourteen during which his friends began calling him Mocklimore.

The Heist's lead single, "Thrift Shop," eventually reached the top of the Hot 100 chart, with eventual sales of more than 6 million downloads. The video for "Thrift Shop" has become a phenomenon as well, receiving tens of millions of YouTube views. The duo's second single, "Can't Hold Us," reached No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart as well, making Macklemore & Ryan Lewis the first duo in music history to have their first two singles reach the top of the pop charts.

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