Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released a new track, Drug Dealer, for the MC’s recent MTV special documentary, ‘Prescription for Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis’.
For Macklemore, this is more than just a music video. It is a testament to his life as an addict. “If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did,” he says in the documentary. In the song, which features producer Ryan Lewis and singer Ariana DeBoo, he calls out pharmaceutical companies for contributing to America’s opioid epidemic. He even pays a tribute to all the celebrities whose deaths were tied to accidental overdoses, including Amy Winehouse, Michael Jackson, and Prince by referring to them.
The video is not easy to watch. It begins with Macklemore sitting naked in a shower, and then twisting on a bare mattress that is set in a room littered with drugs. It shows several close ups of his sweaty, swollen face, followed by him on a bed going through a painful experience of withdrawal contrasted against shots of Ariana Debbo shown drowning in a sea of red and white pills. He passionately raps about the addiction, giving a harrowing account of what happens when doctors carelessly over prescribe medication. DeBoo chimes in the chorus, singing, “My drug dealer was a doctor, doctor / Had the plug from big pharma, pharma / I think he trying to kill me, kill me / He tried to kill me for a dollar, dollar.” He ends the rap with the serenity prayer and and a closing shot of him at an AA meeting.
Macklemore has been open about his own struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction. The topic was even tackled in previous songs such as ‘Kevin’ from ‘This Unruly Mess I’ve Made and Starting Over from Heist’.
Can you feel them chills already?