Concert previews: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s breakthrough sophomore album fearlessly tackles personal demons and society’s ills

By Columbus Alive
From the October 31, 2013 edition

There’s plenty to admire about the Seattle-based MC/producer duo (Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, rhymes and Ryan Lewis crafts the beats). On the crew’s breakthrough sophomore album The Heist, the rapper speaks out in favor of gay marriage (“One Love”) and rails against rampant consumerism (“Wings” and the massively popular “Thrift Shop”). Additionally, the MC pours everything into his live show, breathlessly delivering his words as he bounds from one end of the stage to the other like a hyperactive teenager.

True, Macklemore’s overly eager nature can sometimes grow tiresome — dude has a tendency to boast about his work ethic like he’s trolling for a job on LinkedIn — but credit the rapper for his fearlessness in tackling both his own demons (though clean these days, his struggles with addiction continue to pop up in his work) and the various ills he sees surfacing in society.