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What does Ryan Lewis actually do for Macklemore?

After Jimmy Fallon sent Ryan Lewis to interview Macklemore fans about his role in the duo, we could not stop thinking about it. What does he actually do?

Photo courtesy of FayesVision/

This is getting ridiculous! How can we not know? Everybody knows who Macklemore is, but who the heck is Ryan Lewis? And, more importantly, what does he actually do? Our curiosity was recently prodded by a segment on The Tonight Show, with Jimmy Fallon sending Lewis himself to survey unsuspecting New Yorkers about his role in the hip-hop duo. Not surprisingly, nobody really knew.

Video courtesy of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Note that it wasn’t Macklemore, who released The Heist. It was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. It wasn’t Macklemore behind “Thrift Shop,” “Same Love” and “Can’t Hold Us.” It was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. So, Lewis is doing something, but what? We couldn’t sleep a wink with the weight of this enigma weighing on our minds, so we had to get to the bottom of it.

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Our research has yielded respectable results, which may give us some peace of mind. Ryan Lewis is basically the duo’s behind-the-scenes man. He doesn’t run around the stage in a flashy jacket or bust out rhymes, but he pretty much does everything else. He produces, manages the recording process and mixes Macklemore’s music. He even directed the twosome’s music videos.

So, that sound you like in the background, the beat, the flow, those visuals tied in with the music — all of that is Lewis. The two met over MySpace a while back and have been collaborating ever since. Believe it or not, Lewis is as important as Macklemore, he just doesn’t get the same amount of press.

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What’s throwing people off is that Ryan Lewis gets equal credit with Macklemore, which is rather unorthodox in the music industry. The assumption is that only the person with the microphone should be credited in big letters and lights, while the team behind the music should be included in the fine print. Macklemore recognizes the collaborative process between himself and Lewis; they’re a team — equal in all honours and recognition.

There you go. Now, we can sleep, knowing we have enlightened the world just a little bit. We have also gained more respect for Lewis and everything that he does. High fives!

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