Macklemore Opens Up About His Struggle to Stay Sober

'I just want to get the fuck out of my own head,' says the 'Thrift Shop' rapper

Macklemore, Issue 1180
Danny Clinch
Macklemore in Austin, Texas.
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Seattle rapper Macklemore says it's been a challenge to stay sober since the Number One smash "Thrift Shop" turned him and producer Ryan Lewis into overnight pop stars. "The last three months haven't been good for me – the pressure, the expectation, the lack of sleep, the stress, the traveling," the 29-year-old rapper tells Rolling Stone. "I can't escape Macklemore. I just want to get the fuck out of my own head."

Macklemore has been sober since August 2008, when he went to rehab for a drug and alcohol problem. In the middle of a busy week of SXSW shows and events, he took Rolling Stone to a late-night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Austin – his first meeting in close to two months. "It's been a struggle the past year," he admits. "It's very important to go into the rooms of AA, smell the shitty coffee and be reminded that without sobriety, I would have no career."

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Macklemore also opens up about his unusual DIY path to the top of the charts. He and Lewis release all their music themselves via a self-run label, and their music videos, T-shirts and posters are produced in-house. "I spent a lot of my life rapping and not making enough money to live, and gratefully, that's not the case anymore," he says. "But not having a foreseeable end date in sight is a little bit scary."

For much more on Macklemore, pick up the latest issue of Rolling Stone on newsstands and iTunes tomorrow, or read our full Macklemore profile now.