Macklemore relapsed on drugs after international success

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

In an exclusive interview, Macklemore told magazine Complex how he relapsed on pills and weed.

The rapper Macklemore has admitted that following the worldwide success of his 2013 album ‘The Heist’, he was incredibly burnt out, which lead to him  relapsing on his past addiction of  taking pills and smoking weed.

However, it was his recovery that gave him massive inspiration into making his new album with producer Ryan Lewis.

"I was burnt out," real name Ben Haggerty said. "I was super-stressed. We weren't sleeping — doing a show every day, zigzagging all over the country. In terms of the media, I was getting put into a box that I never saw for myself.

"The pressure and the fame — everything. All the clichés, man — like not being able to walk around, having no privacy, and from this TV appearance to this TV appearance, and the criticism, and the lack of connection, and the lack of [12-step] meetings — all of that put into one pie was just… I just wanted to escape."

Haggerty would result to sneaking around from everyone around him, promising to clean up his act but never committing to it in truth.  Long time friend Lewis was worried and noticed the behaviour that in turn lead to the new album being stalled, but wasn’t until his fiancé Tricia Davis became pregnant that the Seattle native decided enough was enough and embraced sobriety.

"And, as it always works, the minute that I start actively seeking recovery — not just sobriety, but recovery — music is there," Haggerty said. "It always has been. Songs write themselves. My work ethic turns off-to-on in a second and I get happy again. I get grateful again."

When speaking to Complex in the exclusive, Lewis , speaking of the new album, which they are 3 quarters of the way complete , he said him and Macklemore were drawing inspiration from the methodically textured records of Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd and the Beatles, but Macklemore himself was not giving a lot away.

"How do I participate in this conversation in a way that I'm not preaching, where I'm not appearing like I know it all?," the rapper said. 

"Cause I don't know it all... How do I affect change? How do I not preach to the choir? How do I authentically initiate discourse without co-opting the movement that's already happening? You are constantly having to check your intention as a white person doing any sort of anti-racist work."

We commend Ben, and cannot wait to hear the new project when it comes out.

Ross Murphy