Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Macklemore's latest album, The Heist, is currently resting at number 37 on iTunes, but when it was first released, the record both topped that chart and held down the number-two spot on Billboard on the strength of its first-week sales. While chart rankings are hardly meaningful in this modern era, what makes this feat impressive is the fact that the XXL freshman and Westword Music Showcase alum issued the album entirely on his own. Besides being a highly capable MC, the Seattle-based rapper brings a certain genuineness and relatability to his music that's easy to embrace, whether he's playfully espousing the virtues of thrifting or poignantly taking a stand for same-sex marriage.
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