It's safe to say that 2013 was the best year ever for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Seattle duo who came seemingly out of nowhere with their groundbreaking independent success The Heist. The platinum album produced a string of chart-topping singles—including "Same Love," "Thrift Shop," and Spotify's most streamed song of the year, "Can't Hold Us"—and garnered the group Grammys for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist. To call their rise meteoric would be an understatement. But with their pop success came criticism and questions about their place in the hip-hop world. Now that the dust has settled and a year has passed, the duo is finally ready for their second act. Can they do it again?
Complex sent writer kris ex to Seattle to talk with the rapper and producer about what life has been like since they became global superstars, and what we can expect from their next album. Photographed by Timothy Saccenti at the Berry Farm hedge maze outside of Seattle, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are ready for whatever's around the corner. Click the link below to read the full cover story, and be sure to buy Complex's Aug/Sep 2015 Issue now!