Culture

Macklemore Gets Raw About Drug Abuse And How Treatment ‘Saved My Life’

On next week’s episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh will be joined by everyone’s favorite thrift store fit-copping rapper, Macklemore, who will sit down with our hosts to deep dive on the in and outs and ups and downs of his career in hip-hop. Long outspoken about his struggles with addiction, Macklemore also offers some advice for young people currently struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and reveals to Kweli and Leigh that he credits his early stint in rehab with literally saving his life:

“I didn’t know that there was a bunch of people, thousands in my city, that were convening in the basements of churches in random old halls talking about this disease that I had. I didn’t even know it was a disease at the beginning, I went for years like ‘why can I not fucking stop, why can I not drink and smoke like my friends. Why when I wake up is that the first thing I’m thinking about…’ I didn’t know that there was a community that was there to support and love me unconditionally that had the same fucking disease.”

Finding a community to relate to was key in Macklemore’s recovery, and he stresses the importance of that community for young addicts who have yet to recognize that they have a disease.

“There is a therapeutic value of one addict to another sharing their experience, strength, and hope that saved my fucking life and continues to save my life. You work these twelve steps and you get better, you excavate that bullshit, you figure out your character defects, you say sorry to some people, you have a spiritual awakening, and you go out and you carry that message to somebody else and that’s the most important thing in this world, being of service to other people…”

Check out the clip above to hear more about Macklemore’s struggles with addiction and his ongoing recovery and be sure to catch the full People’s Party episode when it airs on Monday.


SAMHSA’s National Helpline is found at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

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