There’s no way to glorify this pavement
Syrup, Percocet, and an eighth a day will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant.
Those are the words to Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s Otherside, a lyrical tale of the days Macklemore spent living with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. His inspiring comeback from substance abuse, capped this year with Grammy recognition, speaks to the heart of the despair felt by those struggling with drugs and alcohol.
Erasing the Stigma of Addiction
Increasing numbers of artists, performers and other well known individuals are coming forward to acknowledge a past addiction. Macklemore’s Otherside, in addition to Starting Over, “have helped him make music that connects with others,” according to the artist and reported by HipHopDX.com.
“If I wasn’t a drug addict, if I wasn’t somebody that always struggled with moderation, I wouldn’t have written songs like [that],” he tells HipHopDX. “Those records have connected with many, many, many people all over the world.”
Modern music — and rap in particular — is widely known for its risqué and sometimes offensive lyrics. Macklemore and Lewis’s honest and open songs, however, shed light on what addiction to drugs and alcohol is really like — And trust me, it’s not dope to be 25 and move back to your parent’s basement, he raps — in addition to the redemption and freedom that comes from sustaining a recovery from substance abuse.
The “Half of Us” Campaign
Macklemore also acknowledges during mtvU “Half of Us” campaign that he first tried drinking alcohol by himself, at age 13 or 14, after school. It “quickly spiraled” out of control, according to mtv.com.
Macklemore drank “12 shots in, my first time ever drinking alcohol,” he admits.
During his freshman year of high school, he spent a lot of time skipping classes to get high on marijuana — And ‘weed’s not a drug,’ that’s denial — which resulted in a “blank” mind.
“I’ve been rapping since 13 or 14, and freshman year of high school I realized that music and me did not work if I was under the influence.”
A Passion for Music
“If it wasn’t for that rehab center, I probably wouldn’t have been here,” he admitted to MTV. “In terms of recovery, it has been very important for me to be a part of a recovery community…They get it.”