When Macklemore and his musical counterpart, Ryan Lewis, first drew mainstream attention with their popular track, “Thrift Shop,” they were met with a backlash from many “purists”; Moms liked them, hip-hop fans were a bit more leery.
But instead of ignoring the pushback — the duo took a six month lesson on race, which included discussions on the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, bell hooks and more. They sought to gain knowledge on issues before speaking out against the ills of the world.
But music critics aren’t the only obstacles Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have had to face. The former is an addict who’s constantly fighting against relapse — especially now that he has a daughter.
“I have a problem with any drug. I’m going to take a s—-ton of Ambien and walk around,” he said. “Pills and lean and weed were probably the three that I used most. I smoke weed from the minute I wake up to the minute that I pass out, and [when I do] I don’t do anything productive. I’m usually lying to the people I love in order to do weed in the first place.”
According to Billboard, it’s been a year and a half since Macklemore smoked weed — he hasn’t done any other drug. “If it wasn’t for sobriety we would not be talking right now. There would be no Unruly Mess… to discuss. There just wouldn’t be any music.”
He’s also looking toward the future regarding his family and career. “I’m like, ‘How do I spend more time with my family?’ versus ‘How can I grow this business?’ There’s no doubt Ryan and I could make more money right now. But that has never been the reason why I make art,” said Macklemore.
We’re glad to see that Macklemore was able to get himself together to create more hits with Ryan Lewis. Check out the full piece here.