Seattle rapper and songwriter Macklemore met with President Obama Thursday to talk about opioid addiction.
Obama and the rap artist appeared on a video in the White House weekly address Friday to talk about a problem that has been rapidly growing worse in recent years. Macklemore noted that he abused the drugs and battled addiction.
"This week, the House passed several bills about opioids, but unless they also make actual investments in more treatment, it won't get Americans the help they need," Obama said. "Deaths from opioid overdoses have tripled since 2000. A lot of the time, they're from legal drugs prescribed by a doctor."
Macklemore backed Obama's pitch with a personal plea.
"I know recovery isn't easy or quick, but along with the 12-step program, treatment has saved my life," Macklemore said. "Recovery works — and we need our leaders in Washington to fund it and people to know how to find it."
Two years ago, the "Thrift Shop" emcee opened up about his previous struggles with drug addiction in an article by Complex magazine.
After the success of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' The Heist, Macklemore, whose real name is Ben Haggerty, relapsed into drug use.
"I held it together for a while," Haggerty told Complex in 2015. "But eventually, I stopped going to my 12-step meetings."
Macklemore said his addiction almost ruined his music career.
In a 2014 interview with MTV, Macklemore said he spent his first year of high school skipping classes to smoke weed and struggling to write rhymes because his mind was blank.
"I've been rapping since [I was] 13 or 14, and freshman year of high school I realized that music and me did not work if I was under the influence," Macklemore said in a Jan.1, 2014 article by MTV.
Macklemore entered a rehab center at the age of 25.
On social media, he said he’s excited about the project with President Obama. He said he will release more information soon.
Honored to be at The White House with MTV to talk to President Obama about opioid addiction. Really excited for this project. More to come soon.Posted by Macklemore on Thursday, May 12, 2016
Cox Media Group