Macklemore Opens Up About His Drug Relapse – and How Fatherhood Saved Him

"The pressure and the fame – everything I just wanted to escape," the rapper says

Photo: Janette Pellegrini/Getty

Macklemore has revealed that he suffered a drug relapse in 2014. In a new interview, the rapper opened up about falling back into old patterns – and what ultimately brought him back to the right path.

“I held it together for a while,” he told Complex in their August/September issue. “But, eventually, I stopped going to my 12-step meetings. I was burnt out. I was super-stressed. We weren’t sleeping – doing a show every day, zigzagging all over the country. In terms of the media I was getting put into a box that I never saw for myself. The pressure and the fame – everything I just wanted to escape.”

The musician – who got clean at 25 after a rehab stint and previously relapsed in 2011 – said he started taking pills and smoking weed. Those near to him, like his close friend and collaborator Ryan Lewis, started noticing something was wrong.

Macklemore added: “I’m in meetings with management with sunglasses on and I’m rolling around like a 15-year-old trying not to get caught smoking weed in my car. Straight up, driving all around here, like I was 15 years ago. I felt so dumb. I felt like I’m just wasting time. What am I escaping here?”

The rapper, 32, admitted he set himself straight when he found out that his fiancée, Tricia Davis, was expecting. (The couple’s first child was due in May.) He began to attend his 12-step meetings again to get back on track.

“I’ve been trying to grow up this year,” he said. “Since I heard that Tricia was pregnant, I was like, ‘I need to grow up right now.’ ”

Macklemore has now been sober for seven months, focusing on “self-care” like “yoga, journaling, and attending meetings.”

“I’ve gotten back to what makes me happy,” he explained. “Not in the immediate moment, [but] what’s going to make me happy in the long run. None of the money, the fame, the attention, the touring, the endorsement literally none of it, comes close to the fulfillment and gratitude that I feel showing up to a meeting and being sober today.”

The Grammy-winning rapper is working on not only bettering himself, but on music as well. He said sobering up and recovering was the “wake-up call” he needed to move forward.

“As it always works, the minute that I start actively seeking recovery – not just sobriety, but recovery – music is there. It always has been. Songs write themselves. My work ethic turns off-to-on in a second and I get happy again. I get grateful again.”

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