Macklemore’s newest single is an emotional, sometimes unsettling takedown of the pharmaceutical industry and what the Seattle rapper sees as a pandemic of drug addictions driven by doctors who carelessly overprescribe medicine. “My drug dealer was a doctor,” sings Ariana Deboo on the hook. “He said that he would heal me, but he only gave me problems … I think he trying to kill me. Tried to kill me for a dollar.”
The new video for “Drug Dealer,” directed by Jason Koenig, shows a naked, sweaty Macklemore as he battles gut-wrenching withdrawal symptoms. Macklemore has been open about his own real-life struggle with drug and alcohol addiction; he went through rehab in 2008. Last year, he and Ryan Lewis released the song “Kevin,” a funk-flavored tirade against the ravages of addiction and overprescription.
“Drug Dealer” is Macklemore’s first new song since he self-released “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” earlier this year. He and Ryan Lewis previously released the breakthrough album The Heist in 2012.