Macklemore’s “Drug Dealer” Video is a Jarring Reminder of My Oxycontin Addiction

The Seattle emcee uses personal experiences to inspire an incredibly powerful visual addressing pharmaceutical addiction.

As hip-hop continues its current obsession with popping pills and drinking lean, Macklemore is standing up as a voice of reason and warning against a drug-fueled lifestyle.

A former addict himself, Macklemore underwent rehab in 2008 for drug addiction and alcoholism and recently had a relapse in 2014, an incident that ignited the artist's need to address these problems on a major scale.

Today (October 25), Macklemore released the video for This Unruly Mess I've Made single “Drug Dealer." The powerful visuals show Macklemore detoxing alone in a dilapidated apartment as he recounts the horrid effects pharmaceuticals have had on his own life and the lives of those close to him.

Earlier this month, in partnership with MTV for a documentary titled Prescription For Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis (which features "Drug Dealer"), Macklemore sat down with President Barack Obama for a frank discussion on the nation’s opioid crisis and the shady dealings of big pharma that are adding fuel to the fire.

As a former Oxycontin addict myself, these visuals hit home on an almost unwatchable level. The pain and desperation inherent in addiction are visible in full force throughout the video as Macklemore laments the deaths of close friends, as well as fellow entertainers like A$AP Yams, DJ AM and countless others.

Watching Macklemore sweat, scratch and shake on a bare mattress is enough to make even those with no experience with addiction cringe, but anyone who’s kicked an opioid habit knows the scene all too well, and Macklemore’s own personal experiences definitely provided him with the ability to accurately portray the process.

While a large number of rappers love to brag about sipping Activis and popping Xans, Macklemore has taken on the responsibility of reminding listeners of the reality of recreational pharmaceutical use, a responsibility that surprisingly few people in the culture are willing to take on considering how many lives are being lost.

Hopefully, Macklemore’s focus on addiction continues to combat the uphill battle against the recklessness inherent in youth, especially in hip-hop. At the very least, he made one hell of a compelling video that’s sure to put a reality-based face on the all-too-often romanticized idea of drug use.


By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: YouTube