“We’re all gonna quit tomorrow.” ~ Macklemore
“I’m digging the new Macklemore album,” my bestie texted me a few days ago.
“Ooh!” I replied. “I haven’t heard it yet!” And being a fan, I was genuinely interested.
Today she shared one of the tracks from Macklemore’s upcoming album “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made.”
After I listened to it, I thought: How f*cking poignant. And it truly is, as our country’s widespread painkiller addiction (and over-prescription problem) is called out in this powerful song, titled “Kevin.”
“Kevin” is a tribute to Macklemore’s friend, who died as the result of an overdose from a prescription medication.
Most of us already know Macklemore is a recovering addict himself, as he has spoken openly about it and has also addressed his own addiction in his song “Otherside.” According to a Hollywood.com news article, Macklemore (aka Ben Haggerty) met his friend Kevin at a meeting, as Kevin was actively attempting to kick his Oxycontin addiction—he’d been prescribed Oxycontin to treat his severe anxiety.
Kevin was an aspiring rapper, so as an incentive to help his new friend get clean, Macklemore offered to take him into his studio to record a few tracks—if and when Kevin made it to two weeks “clean.”
After the recording session, Macklemore dropped Kevin off at his home, with a CD of tracks from their studio session.
“I dropped him off at his home, and I got a call from his sister the next day…she told me that Kevin had overdosed. He was 20 years old. He got home and celebrated and never woke up from that. And I know how closely I’ve walked that line; I know that I’m not far away from that… I never will be, and if I don’t share Kevin’s story, if I don’t participate in the community of sobriety, I could very easily… not wake up, like Kevin.”
The reality is that over two million Americans abuse prescription drugs.
“He was gonna quit tomorrow, we’re all gonna quit tomorrow
Just get us through the weekend, and then Monday follows
Then it’s Wednesday, then it’s “f*ck it, I’m already feeling hollow”
Might as well go crack a seal and might as well go chug a bottle
Might as well go pop a pill and band-aid that problem
And escape this world, vacate this world…”
Elephant Journal alone has numerous blogs written on this very topic. Here are just a few:
This ongoing epidemic is not something we should turn our backs on. A tiny prescription pill is not the answer to our problems—despite what the pharmaceutical companies would like us to believe.
The pharmaceutical industry is making billions of dollars, by cashing in on people’s pain.
This crisis won’t stop, so long as we allow it to continue, and I applaud Macklemore for using his fame and popularity to draw awareness to this critical problem. He didn’t just write this song to pay tribute to his late friend. As an artist, he is doing meaningful work here by raising awareness and pointing out those things that we, as a society, so often so vehemently ignore.
Whether it’s pills, a needle, a pipe or booze—we often crave that “band-aid” fix. We seek to numb the pain—to escape. But what greater price do we pay? For some—simply missing out on life, because we are too numb to feel. For others, perhaps a greater price will be paid—one that cannot be undone—and that’s reality Macklemore is speaking on.
Macklemore is an artist whose message and lyrics are often incredibly meaningful. He is a person who sees the bigger picture and truly seeks to use his talent to benefit others.
“Doctor, please, give me a dose of the American Dream…All this is on you, we’re overprescribed.
Doctor, your medicine and your methods…Can’t cure my disease without killing me.
You’re killing me, you’re killing me…”
Author: Yoli Ramazzina