Artist of the Week: Macklemore
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 21:10
If you haven’t heard the hit song “Thrift Shop” this past weekend, you should probably get to YouTube as soon as possible and blast it out loud. Macklemore, the moniker for Ben Haggerty, has gone through quite a history of ups and downs, but thankfully he’s recently hit a major high.
Haggerty’s musical career took off at Garfield High School in his hometown of Seattle. The community he built there as a rapper, songwriter and performer gave him a solid and supportive fanbase.
There was a point in Haggerty’s career where he was dependent on prescription pills while trying to fool his doctors to keep prescribing them. He also drank alcohol and smoked marijuana daily. Looking back on this time of substance abuse, he said in an interview with City Arts Magazine, “If I couldn’t be around [the temptation], I couldn’t perform.” After overdosing on OxyContin in 2007, Haggerty underwent an intense detox and picked up meditation as a daily practice.
Haggerty has benefited from Vipassana meditation—a Buddhist practice that focuses on breathing and awareness of the impermanence of existence—with the goal to see things and the world as they really are. Cutting down on social media websites has helped his mental state as well. Commenting on where he is now, he said, “I don’t regret anything that I’ve done because it’s got me here, and it’s gotten me to a place where I’ve connected with God and it all makes sense.”
After a few independent releases, his debut album “The Heist” dropped on Oct. 9 and it’s topping the charts on iTunes. Songs to check out are “Thrift Shop,” “Same Love,” “Can’t Hold Us,” “I Said Hey” and “Otherside.”
He’ll be touring in Washington D.C. on Nov. 13 at Nightclub 9:30 and in Philadelphia on Nov. 14 at Theatre of the Living Arts.