Macklemore’s New Music Video: ‘Drug Dealer’

Try tearing your eyes and ears away from the Macklemore “Drug Dealer” music video. It’s challenging, even if hip hop and rap aren’t your thing. Macklemore’s unsettling yet riveting performance as a person in the throes of withdrawal from prescription drugs is powerful. His message? I am just one citizen among many in a nation of people addicted to prescription drugs, and the problem begins with the pharmaceutical companies and prescribing doctors.
Macklemore performing

The Macklemore “Drug Dealer” video plays like the gritty version of a spot reel or informational video for an anti-drug awareness campaign. The audience? An unwitting public that needs to be informed of the dangers of prescription drugs. With his role in this video as a young man undergoing an agonizing detox, Macklemore serves as the poster child for young adults who first received prescription drugs to manage their health conditions, but ended up addicted.

Macklemore’s addiction stance, based on the lyrics of this song, is that the medical community is to blame for planting the seed of addiction for hundreds of thousands of people whose prescription drug use unintentionally grows into abuse. Lyrics like “The whole while, these billionaires stay caked-up, Paying out Congress so we take their drugs,” “Murderers who will never face the judge, And we dancin’ to a song about our face goin’ numb” and “My drug dealer was a doctor, doctor, Had the plug from Big Pharma, Pharma, He said that he would heal me, heal me, But he only gave me problems, problems” are very clearly pointing fingers and spelling out how the addiction epidemic problem was created.

Opening about his own struggles with addiction and his 2008 stint in rehab, Macklemore ends his video with a scene depicting his recovery, as he receives support from his therapy group upon successful completion of rehab.

If you watch it all the way through to its happy ending, this video will likely give you the hope that every person who becomes addicted can find treatment and achieve recovery — and a healthy, happy future.


Watch Macklemore's Powerful New Video for 'Drug Dealer.' Robin Hilton. NPR, Music, 2016.

Posted on August 14th, 2017
Posted in Articles

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