Ever the issues-based rapper, Macklemore has moved on from LGBT rights, white privilege, and the importance of saving money at the thrift shop to tackle another pressing social matter: Opioid addiction. In his new music video “Drug Dealer,” Macklemore stars as a addict going through withdrawal. The song, and especially Ariana DeBoo’s chorus, puts the onus on greedy pharmaceutical companies for creating our current opioid epidemic. “My drug dealer was a doctor, doctor,” DeBoo sings as she’s immersed in a pile of pills, “Had the plug from Big Pharma, Pharma.”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis wrote the song for Macklemore’s recent MTV documentary Prescription For Change: Ending America’s Opioid Crisis, which is available in full online. Macklemore begins the documentary by explaining that he’s a former addict who has previously abused prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Percocet. He goes on to talk to President Barack Obama about the current opioid epidemic and what the government can do to help. It’s clearly a very personal topic for Macklemore, who opens “Drug Dealer” by talking about a friend who died from an overdose. But the music video ends with a hopeful message that indicates recovery and healing is possible.