Live Video: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

photo by Nate Watters

Pride. It’s hardly a surprising trait in a rising rap star, but most often it’s just a posture or a play in the game. For Macklemore, pride is both hard earned and something he was born into — in other words, authentic. It is with pride the Seattle rapper declares his heritage in songs like “Irish Celebration” (“proud to be a Haggerty / Now with whiskey in our veins”), lays bare is own ultimately successful struggles with addiction as on “Otherside” (“Thinkin’ I would never do that, not that drug and growing up nobody ever does /Until your stuck, lookin’ in the mirror like I can’t believe what I’ve become”), and eulogizes local heroes like recently departed “voice of your Seattle Mariners,” Dave Niehaus, a constant in the lives of many sports fans young and old. Now, sober for the last two years and on a stratospheric trajectory that has yet to glimpse its apex, Macklemore is finally getting the recognition he has worked for over the years by speaking to his fans on their level, not by posing as some kind of thug or urban entrepreneur, and just getting his music “out there.”

Recently, Macklemore sold out three nights in two weeks at the Showbox at the Market (this Friday being the third) and is about to embark on his first headlining cross-country tour. Partner to his success is Ryan Lewis, a local producer who excels at not just at creating engaging electronic beats but the entire creative package, with photography and design as a core part of his background. It’s Lewis’ beats that raise Macklemore’s songs to a whole new level. Together, the duo are already taking on the world. And thankfully for us, before they hit the long road in front of them, they stopped by KEXP to perform live on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole songs from their last EP, The VS. EP (Redux), and a couple of new songs that will mostly likely appear on the next album. Check out the videos here:

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