Macklemore: “That was when I was 17. I believe. I came out to Pratt Art School when I was a junior for the summer. We were given an [assignment] at graphics art class at my high school in Seattle, I was given this superhero in plastic wrapping. We had to give him a name. I named him 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. Whenever I do that—and I’d go out in the town and get drunk and shit—when I would go do that, I was “Professor Macklemore.” Eventually, people just started calling me that. After I put out my first album, I was 17, I dropped the Professor and started just going by Macklemore.

“I just think it was a wack name. [Laughs.] Yeah, it was just a joke. Macklemore seemed more serious than Professor Macklemore. I’m not a professor or anything. [I used the name] on one project. It’s so funny to even think of those as projects. I guess it is, but I was literally 16 or 17 years old. You know, but nowadays a lot of kids that are coming up are that age. You know, [I] first started getting noticed at that age. But it took me much longer to get noticed. It was just a different age. It wasn’t the age of the Internet like it is now. But yeah, it’s funny to think of those as official projects because they weren’t. They were just some bedroom shit.”