Macklemore Reveals Drug Relapse

The singer says "the pressure and the fame" contributed to his relapse.

July 29, 2015, 9:47 AM

— -- Macklemore, the rapper known for party anthems like “Can’t Hold Us,” has revealed that he suffered a drug relapse in 2014.

“I held it together for a while," Macklemore,32, 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,” he said of life on the road with his frequent collaborator, Ryan Lewis. “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."

Macklemore and Lewis shot to fame in 2013 when their record sold more than one million copies, they went on tour and were nominated for seven Grammys.

Macklemore, whose drug and alcohol addiction left him in the hospital and then rehab in 2008, spoke to ABC News’ Dan Harris last year about his fear of relapsing after the duo’s wild ride quieted down.

"For me, what is a temptation is coming home off of the road, which is why this time period is interesting," Macklemore told ABC News in an interview that aired Jan. 1, 2014. "This is when I've fallen back before."

The rapper, also known as Ben Haggerty, told Complex that when he started abusing sleeping pills and marijuana last year, work on his and Lewis’s next record came to a halt.

"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,” he told the magazine. “I felt so dumb. I felt like I'm just wasting time. What am I escaping here?"

Macklemore says it was his fiancee’s pregnancy, which the couple announced in January, that pushed him to get clean once again.

“Since I heard that Tricia was pregnant, I was like, I need to grow up right now,” he said, adding that yoga, meditation, journaling and meetings have helped him out of his relapse.

"I've gotten back to what makes me happy," Macklemore said. "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."

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