Macklemore Talks Drug Relapse, New Album and More in Complex Magazine Cover Story
Seattle rap duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have been quiet lately on the music front, but the duo break their silence and give fans an update on their upcoming second project in an interview with Complex. Elsewhere in the conversation, Macklemore opens up about struggling with drug addiction and his relapse.
The “Thrift Shop” rapper revealed that he suffered a relapse following the success of his Grammy-winning album, The Heist, and got clean during his wife’s pregnancy.
“I held it together for a while but, eventually, I stopped going to my 12-step meetings,” Macklemore admits. "I sat in a car, a hot boxed car -- I thought that was a good idea -- and got high. And then the next day it was like, 'What’s up with the weed?' And once I’m there, it’s over.”
Once his wife, Tricia, became pregnant, Macklemore knew it was time to get clean and sober.
“Since I heard that Tricia was pregnant, I was like, 'I need to grow up right now,'" he recalls. “I’ve gotten back to what makes me happy. Not in the immediate moment, [but] what’s going to make me happy in the long run."
In June, Macklemore and his wife welcomed their first baby together. Since then, fatherhood and sobriety has fueled his creativity.
"The minute that I start actively seeking recovery -- not just sobriety, but recovery -- music is there," he said. "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.”
As for the album, Macklemore says they are about 75 percent done. His longtime collaborative partner Ryan Lewis revealed that a recording session in Idaho yielded six serious "imperative songs" that will offset the "fun songs" they have recorded in their hometown of Seattle.
"I would say there’s better cohesiveness than the last album,” said Lewis. "But like anything we’ve done, it has a variety to it. With this album, you have these different songs that are reaching in terms of emotion and tone and message and where they sit."
Macklemore also talks about race in America and gives props to Kendrick Lamar for his concept album, To Pimp a Butterfly.
To read the rest of the interview with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, head over to Complex's interactive website.