Benjamin Hammond Haggerty (born June 19, 1983), known by his stage name Macklemore and formerly Professor Mack Lemore, is an American rapper from Seattle, Washington. He has collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Since 2000, he has independently released one mixtape, three EPs, and four albums. Haggerty was born to Bill Haggerty and Julie Schott. He is one of two boys and was raised with his brother Tim in Seattle, Washington. He has Irish heritage. Haggerty was six years old when hip hop first came into his life by way of Digital Underground. According to a YouTube interview, he listened to "parental advisory" music from the radio when he was an underage youth. Haggerty was 15 when he started to write lyrics. When he started to sing, Haggerty listened to "a lot of East Coast underground hip hop", with Hieroglyphics, Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone, Living Legends, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Nas, and Talib Kweli being big influences on him. Interested in reaching a younger generation through his music, he was a part of a program focusing on education and cultural identity called "Gateways for Incarcerated Youth" where he facilitated music workshops. Haggerty attended Garfield High School and Nathan Hale High School. At Hale, he developed the stage name "Professor Macklemore" for an art project involving a made-up superhero, and at Garfield, he started a hip-hop group called Elevated Elements with other students. Elevated Elements released an album titled Progress in 2000. Haggerty then went on to earn a bachelor's degree from The Evergreen State College in 2009.