Today, June 19, is the birthday of Seattle rapper Macklemore,who is now officially 35 years of age.

The Grammy-winning MC has paved his own road in hip-hop from the very beginning. Working entirely independently, Macklemore relied on friends and family around him, and not a big label, to ensure his success in the rap game.

Born Ben Haggerty in Seattle, Wash., the freckle-faced young rhymer dabbled in music throughout high school and college, dropping his first full-length project, The Language of My World in 2005. He linked up with his producer, Ryan Lewis, in 2006 and the two devised a plan to dominate music independently as a duo from then on out. Thanks to their successful mixtape series called The VS., Macklemore caught the attention of labels and critics alike.

In 2012, Macklemore was named a member of the XXL Freshman class next to the likes of French Montana, Future and Kid Ink. Since then, not only as he leapfrogged his class, but a slew of other artists in the game too. Before Seattle became notoriously known as his stomping ground, his hometown was dubbed as the city Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp built. Now the city once destitute of rappers, can smile at Macklemore. His debut album, The Heist,  featuring Ryan, his partner in crime, rocked the country with hits like "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us" and "Same Love." The platinum-selling album also went on to win four Grammy awards, including Best Rap Album in 2014.

In 2016, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis returned for their sophomore offering, This Unruly Mess I've Made before the Seattle rapper and his wife welcomed a new baby girl. In the following year, the ultra-earnest MC dropped off his Gemini album, his first solo LP since his 2005 effort,

Happy Birthday, Macklemore!

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