Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Talk Music & Thrift Shops w/ DJ Toro

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Photo: @DJToro on Instagram

Photo: @DJToro on Instagram

Maria Bonello
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Rapper Macklemore and Producer Ryan Lewis, the hip-hop duo from Seattle, recently made their very first in studio radio appearance, on 92.3 NOW with DJ Toro.

The guys recently played at Irving Plaza in NYC, performing tracks from their debut album, “The Heist.”

The album features the quirky single “Thrift Shop” that made it on to Billboard’s Hot 100 list at no. 35. 92.3 NOW is currently the first radio station to play the independently produced song on the air.

Macklemore has been releasing music independently since 2000, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that he teamed up with Ryan Lewis over Myspace, who made on to the rapper’s Top Friends List (Remember that list!?).

“I had 200 friends on Myspace and I thought I was poppin’. And Ryan had a beat that I wanted. Couple of years later we did an EP together and we’re here 3 years later in New York City with you guys so its been a crazy ride,” said Macklemore.

With Myspace taking the backseat in terms of social media platforms and with Twitter at the forefront, Macklemore has nearly doubled his followers since the album came out. He currently has almost 200,000 followers @macklemore. – Not Bad for an artist trying to make it on his own in the music biz.

“Its a little hectic. Like if I don’t check it for a couple of hours and refresh it I’ll have 400 – 500 [twitter mentions]. I can’t keep up with it.  So I do my own updates and I try to hit people back if they hit me with something that’s tight. If anybody does any fan art, I’m going to give them a compliment on it. If they took the time, I’m going to lie to them and tell them its beautiful even if they made me fat and cross-eyed,” he said.

It’s clear that Mack appreciates his fans as well as his producer. The rapper makes sure to share the love shouting out @RyanLewis so as his fan-base grows so does Ryan’s.

“I tweet back. I’m still at a small enough amount of followers. When I get the direct shout outs I see my followers just skyrocket,” said Ryan.

Right now the two are all about the fans and staying true to their art form. They have turned down multiple offers from record labels simply because it didn’t feel right.

“We talked to damn near all of them [record labels]. We had beautiful steak dinners in New York City with pepper corn sauce and Ryan was drinking red wine.  We did it right with the labels, but for the most part what they had to offer us wasn’t what we wanted at the time. Right now it makes sense for us to be in creative control and be ourselves and put the music out direct-to-fan the way that we’ve been doing it,”  said Macklemore.

The guys have been given the honor of closing out 2012 as well as bringing in the new year by giving a performance in Hawaii. And you can be sure that Macklemore will be sporting a tacky floral Hawaiian tee that he picked up at a local thrift shop.

“My girl already scouted me like the thrift shop only Hawaiian t-shirt joints so I’m going in and I’m dropping money on Hawaiian shirts in Hawaii for sure,” he said.

-Maria Bonello, 92.3 NOW/NYC


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