Mackelmore - Drug Dealer Review
Macklemore's (Ben Haggerty's) most recent hit is Drug Dealer.
It's a naive, touching, simple, poignant take on drug addiction (to opioids). A song worth listening to a few times and considering the points of certain verses.
TL;DR. This song seems heart-felt on the surface but wrongly generalizes multiple types of drugs under the same umbrella of "drugs are bad, m'kay." Opioids are horrible and will ultimately fuck up your life. But don't take Macklemore's word for it, learn more about different drugs (not opiods) at Drugs Lab.
The song begins "[...] my homie was taking subs and he ain't wake up."
"Subs" is a street name for Suboxone. Suboxone is an opiod (Buprenorphine) mixed with an opiod inhibitor (competitive antagonist) Naloxone (Narcan, which is what they give you when you're overdosing on opiods) to limit the opiod effect.
Let me be clear here: I'm supportive and happy to hear somebody talking about widespread Oxycodone (and related) addiction in mainstream entertainment. Opiods are a world-changing drug - extremely addictive and life-crippling. And Suboxone is a drug prescibed to get off of other more powerful opiods but overdose can still occur especially when mixing other drugs. Anybody that knows a friend who takes opiods knows that opiods fuck your life up until you stop taking them.
Conclusion: this song is about opiods. Reasonable.
Then a good next part: "the whole while these billionares stay caked up, paying off congress [...]".
He's reflecting on the reasonable public's anger that high-net-worth individuals/companies are regulated by different laws than average-net-worth individuals/companies. I agree. It's unfair and we should be angry about that.
Conclusion: this song is about opiods and how they're being pushed (prescribed) by doctors who are compensated by big businesses. Reasonable.
And then most of the rest of the song is filler about the opiod addiction experience but also mentions how this is becoming more visible because more people are affected by it as time goes on.
Conclusion: Again, same as above - this song is about opiods and how they're being pushed (prescribed) by doctors who are compensated by big businesses. Reasonable.
But then all of a sudden comes the verse @2:56 from what seems like out of no-where
"Ain't no coming back from this Percocet, Actavis, Ambien, Adderral, Xanax binge.".
Wait - WHAT?! What the hell are you talking about Macklemore?
Up until now you've been talking about opiods, which are horrible:
But now you're talking about:
- opiods (Percocet/experiences)
- a company? (Actavis)
- a downer/hypnotic (Ambien)
- amphetamines (Adderall)
- and benzos (Xanax)
^ Considering the above; Macklemore, you jumped the shark bro.
Conclusion: What's this song about? Does Mackelmore have a problem with "drugs are bad m'kay" or "drugs are killing people"?
After listening to this song, I think that Macklemore should stop confusing people that aren't familiar with these different drugs by ending his song with "All drugs are bad". That type of shallow-minded over-generalization is why some Americans have a hard time talking about drugs reasonably.
Macklemore, is weed bad? Macklemore, do you have a problem with marijuana? Did weed kill your friend? Why didn't you include that drug in your verse? Did you not include weed in your verse because weed didn't kill your friend? --- Because I doubt Ambien or Adderall or Xanax killed your friend either.
Macklemore is capitalizing on the public's ignorance of some drugs, anger with "big business", and then conveluding it with a message of "Drugs are bad, m'kay", which ends up being a net-negative-value message for listeners.
Generally this song is worth considering if you constrain your considerations to opiods.
But in a more general sense, we're all on something - aren't we Mr. Ben Haggerty.
In doing some research for this review, I came across Kevin, which seems to be another shallow interpretation of what Macklemore seems to think: "Drugs are bad, m'kay."
There's a reason these companies are billion-dollar-companies. Part of it is that they're shady - and that's a fair criticism - and part of it is that drugs work for a lot of people - and that's okay too.