Macklemore has spoken candidly over the years about his battle with drug addiction. Now, the rapper is sharing details about his experience prior to the first time he entered rehab.
During an appearance on the People's Party podcast with Talib Kweli and co-host Jasmin Leigh on Jan. 28, the "Thrift Shop" rhymer revealed that prior to going to rehab in 2008, he almost died.
"If it wasn't for my pops having the 10 or 12 racks that it was when I first went to treatment and to spend that on me, I'd be fucking dead," he explained. "I wouldn't be here right now. That's not to be fucking dramatic, that's just what it is. I was about to die."
He added, "I was lucky enough to go to a facility for 30 days. People don't know that that's OK to go to treatment."
The Seattle native also shared that he was unaware that his addiction was a disease and often wondered why he was unable to engage in social drinking or drug use like his friends.
"I didn't even know it was a disease at the beginning," he revealed. "I just… I went for years like, 'Why can I not fucking stop? Why can I not drink and smoke like my friends? Why do I need to like… When I wake up, that's the first thing I'm thinking about and that I have to go get?' And other people can just do it on the weekends or three times a week or whatever."
Macklemore also addressed the community that offered him support during his addictive period as well as the importance of seeking treatment and destigmatizing the misconceived notions surrounding rehabilitation.
"We need to make sure people know that there's resources, more funding to get people treatment that they need," he said.
The 37-year-old rapper also spoke about South Florida's Smokepurpp. Macklemore recalled Purpp sharing that he didn't feel comfortable with being open about receiving treatment.
"I remember hearing a certain rapper, I think it was Smokepurpp, and he was talking about [how] he went to treatment but didn't want to tell anybody," Macklemore said. "He was having that internal conversation like, 'What do I do now?' My whole shit is [about] sipping lean and smoking backwoods. How do I still remain relevant?." Mack added, "It's a mess, but what's more of a mess is dying."
Towards the end of the conversation, Macklemore paid tribute to a number of rappers who have died due to accidental overdoses.
"Mac Miller was a friend of mine," he expressed. "You look at what happened to [Lil'] Peep. You look at what happened to Juice Wrld. These are fucking tragedies and they're happening. And it's not just the famous people. Young people are dying at the highest rate than they ever have and people in general too, it's not even [just] young. This disease does not discriminate."
For years, Macklemore has been outspoken on his addiction to Oxycontin, alcohol and weed, and even confronted the illness on his 2016 song "Drug Dealer" featuring Ariana DeBoo. The single was a component of his documentary, Prescription For Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis, on the opioid epidemic and his own drug use. The film aired on MTV.
Check out Macklemore's full conversation on sobriety journey below.
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