Macklemore Recalls How He Was "About to Die" Before Entering Rehab for Drug Addiction

In a new interview, Macklemore spoke about his past battle with substance addiction and how he almost died before undergoing treatment. He also recalled the deaths of fellow rappers like Mac Miller.

By Corinne Heller Jan 29, 2021 7:53 PMTags
Watch: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Huge Sacrifice

Macklemore wants to raise awareness about support groups for addicts.

In a new interview on the People's Party with Talib Kweli podcast, released on Thursday, Jan. 28, the 37-year-old "Can't Hold Us" rapper recalled his battle with addiction and mourned the deaths of fellow hip hop stars Mac Miller, Lil Peep and Juice Wrld, who died of mixed drug toxicity.

"We need to make sure that people know that there's resources, more funding to get people treatment that they need because if it wasn't for my pops having the 10 or 12 racks [thousand dollars] that it was when I first went to treatment and being willing to spend that on me, I'd be f--king dead," Macklemore said. "Like, I wouldn't be there right now and that's not to be f--king dramatic, that's just what it is. Like, I was about to die. I just was lucky enough to go to a facility for 30 days. And people, I think, don't know that that's okay to go to treatment."

Celebrity Rehabbers

He continued, "It's a mess but you know, what's more of a mess is fucking dying and our young people are. Mac Miller was a friend of mine. You look at what happened to Peep. You look at what happened to Juice Wrld. These are f--king tragedies and they're happening and it's not just the famous people."

Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, entered rehab for drug and alcohol addiction in 2008, when he was 25, Rolling Stone reported. Though he sought treatment, he relapsed in 2011, and then again in 2014 following the success of his and Ryan Lewis' The Heist, citing stress and touring burnout. He began taking pills and smoking marijuana and stopped attending his 12-step meetings for a while before he got sober again.

In his interview with the People's Party with Talib Kweli podcast, Macklemore praised the benefits of addiction support groups. "I didn't know that there was a community that was there to support, love me unconditionally, and had the same f--king disease," he said. "It continues to save my life. You work these steps. You work these 12 steps and you get better, you excavate that bulls--t, you figure out your character defects, you say you're 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 the world, is like being of service to other people, getting outside of your own f--king head."

"You know how many times I'm hit up by like, the parent of a kid who is like, 'Yo my kid is 20 years old, he can't stop, he got kicked out of school...what do I do?'" Macklemore, who has two daughters with wife Tricia Davis, continued. "And they have no idea what to do and how important going to treatment is. We have to destigmatize this whole s--t. We have to talk about it. There's a conversation about mental health right now...addiction and mental health go f--king hand-in-hand. We need to make sure that people know that there's resources, more funding to get people treatment that they need."