By Amanda Wicks
Throughout his career, Macklemore has concentrated at one time or another on calling attention to opioid addiction and the prescription drug epidemic destroying lives across the country. In his new video for “Drug Dealer,” he gets emotionally raw and real with the camera in order to make a more powerful impact with his message.
The video begins with Macklemore hunched over in the shower, the water cascading down his naked body as he appears helpless in the face of his addiction. Once he begins rapping, the camera finds him twisting on a bare mattress as he goes through the withdrawals he sings about in the song, or sitting against a dark background looking almost gray. Macklemore looks the camera straight on, his eye contact making his message even more painful and powerful.
The song features Ariana Deboo, who appears in a twist on the famous rose scene from American Beauty. Instead of flower petals, though, she’s surrounded by pills.
Prescription drug addiction is a subject Macklemore knows well. In May, he teamed up with President Obama to fight opioid addiction. “I have abused prescription drugs and battled addiction,” he said. “If I hadn’t gotten the help I needed when I needed it, I might not be here today. And I want to help others facing the same challenges I did” (via Vanity Fair).