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Happy Birthday Macklemore -- Look How Far You've Come

It's been an eventful ride.

Macklemore reached new heights with The Heist album, notching hit singles and nabbing Grammys with the 2012 release, but what about the earlier days?

On Thursday (June 19) our friend Macklemore celebrates his 31st birthday, and in honor of him we're taking a look back and appreciating just how far he's come in his career. These days he's collaborating with the likes of Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul, but a few years ago he was carving out his place by working with other North West emcees like The Physics and Blue Scholars.

Professor Macklemore

In 2000, when the Seattle rapper dropped his Open Your Eyes Ep, he was still going by the name "Professor Macklemore." "When I came out to Pratt Art School for the summer, I was going to thrift shops and dressing up in random crazy outfits," he's explained. "Whenever I do that—and I’d go out in the town and get drunk and sh--, — when I would go do that, I was “Professor Macklemore."

Ode To Seattle

In 2009 he was dedicating love letters to Seattle with "The Town," from The Unplanned Mixtape, and now he's the most successful rap star the city has ever seen. Soon, Seattle will be writing love letters to him.

Bumbershoot Before Sold Out Tours

These days Macklemore and Ryan Lewis are selling out tours internationally, but in 2008, 2009 and 2011 Macklemore was just getting warmed up with local gigs, like performing back-to-back at Seattle's Bumbershoot Festival.

Meaningful Collaborations

One of his early collaborations was with fellow Seattle emcees, The Physics, on 2009's "Good." He's always been proud of his town.

Serious Discussions From The Start

He opened up a dialog about the dangers of cough-syrup addiction, on 2009's emotional track "The Otherside," from the VS EP. Then he'd go on to address other social issues on impactful tracks like "Same Love."

An Opening Act

Macklemore spent some of his early career opening for Blue Scholars on tour, and he was even featured on their 2011 song, "Tommy Chong."