Macklemore - Addressing the Opioid Epidemic with President Obama

June 23, 2016 - Macklemore 06/23/2016 Views: 16,154

Rapper Macklemore, whose latest album is "This Unruly Mess I've Made," explains how he got involved in battling the opioid epidemic with President Obama. (5:26)

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My guest tonight isa Grammy Award-winning rapper

whose latest albumwith Ryan Lewis is called

This Unruly Mess I've Made.

Please welcome Macklemore.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Ah. Welcome to the show, sir.Welcome to the show.

Thank you for having me.

-Appreciate it.-Yeah, man, anytime, any...

First of all, congratulations--you are a father. Yes.

I am... I am a dad.

(cheering, applause)

I'm breaking the news to him.He didn't know. I, uh...

-(laughter)-Yes! -Yes.

No, but congratulations, youhave a beautiful daughter now.

-Thank you. -Do you feelthe change instantly,

or is, you know, is it, like,immediately, are you just

more defensive, are you lookingat men differently now, like...?

Not yet.There have been a couple

-of playground instances...-(laughter)

with some, uh,three- and four-year-olds,

where I'm just like,"Get out of here, man.

-(laughter)-Leave her alone."

Uh, but she's...she's a very happy child.

-She's very joyous and free,-Yeah.

and, uh, yeah, it's incredible.

It really,it really sounds like it is.

-I am not ready. Um...-(laughter)

Let's talk about,let's talk about your music.

One thing I'vealways wanted to know is,

what came first for you,the message or the music?

You know, were you...were you doing music,

were you listening to,like, "Gin and Juice,"

and you're like,"I love this (bleep),

but I wish it had saida little more," you know?

Is that what it was, or...

or were you straight inwith the message?

No, I was like,"I love this (bleep),

and I want to drink ginright now."


No, I, uh,I grew up with, uh...

with gangster rap.

That was what, uh, got meinto hip-hop in the first place.

-Yeah. -I think thatit was just me sharing

my true experience,

and, um, not trying to besomething that I wasn't,

and, uh...

kind of got in throughthe spoken word scene

in the late '90s.

The spoken word scenewas very popular.

-Right. -There wasn't...hip-hop wasn't as big

as it is now, and, um--I'm really dating myself

by saying "the late '90s."

Sounds like a long time ago,'cause it kind of is, man.

-It kind of was.-Yeah.

You've come a long way, though.

I mean, you know,from being that guy,

spoken word, hip-hop,all the way through to...

an address with the Presidentof the United States.

You know, you were speakingwith President Obama

about the opioid epidemic.

And, I mean, it must have beena surreal moment, you know,

for the world as well.

Did you ever thinkwe'd get to the place where

you would have a white rapperand a black president?


(whooping, applause)



The opioid epidom... epidemic,we're hearing so much about it.

You know? There'sMichael Jackson, there's Prince.

And you came out withyour own personal story as well.

I guess the question is,how has it become so pervasive

amongst artists and celebrities,

and I... why are youusing your voice now

to speak for those who, I guess,are not in the same field?

I've always struggledwith addiction,

and... it, um...

it led me to opioid abuse.

And... when I went--I went to treatment in 2008--

and there was a moment therewhere I was like,

do I talk about thisin my music,

or do I completely just pretendlike this hasn't happened?

And I chose to talk about it.

I think that we as human beings,whether it's on a personal level

or someone that, um,it's affected yourself

or someone that you know,

this is a problem that is...

-infiltrated the homesof America. -Yeah.

And, um, it's somethingthat if we don't talk about it,

if we leave this stigma,if we don't talk about addiction

and the pharmaceutical industryand what has happened,

then it's just gonna perpetuate,and I think the White House

is at a point where it's like,we need to step up

and have this conversation.

And it really isa stigma, though,

because a lot of people think,you know...

there's terms like "junkie"thrown around,

-Right. -there's terms like...people don't say "addiction,"

people don't make it seemlike it is...

something that isout of your control

when you are in that situation.

Yeah, absolutely.

Um... the disease of addictionis a disease,

but I think thatwe've completely, um,

compartmentalized addiction,you know?

-You're a meth heador a crack head, -Yeah, yeah.

of you're this or that, or thisdrug is better than this drug,

or vice-versa, or this is legaland this isn't a big deal.

I think that,um, every individual

has their own experiencewith drugs.

For me, um... it's just whatdrug has killed people faster.

But, um... in order for meto be a fulfilled person

and live a life worth living,

uh... I've needed to be sober.

That's beautiful.

Um, you're appearingon the LOGO Trailblazer Honors

that's taking place--the largest televised

LGBT Pride event.

You've been a very know, you've been

a very loud voice, I guess,in the LGBT conversation,

and, obviously, now speaking outabout the transgender bill.

What is it with the bathrooms?

Why can't peoplejust pee in peace, man?


(laughter, cheering, applause)

Thank you so muchfor being here.

This Unruly Mess I've Made is available now.

Macklemore. We'll be right back.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

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