An open letter to Macklemore about the opioid epidemic
Dear Macklemore, Recently, you — the white-rapping, thrift-shopping, LGBT-activist-ing, Grammy-winning 2013 phenom — teamed up with President Obama to deliver a message to the country about the current opioid epidemic. Now let me preface this by saying, I like you, Macklemore. I like the mixture of equal parts political, earnest and downright goofy that you bring to your music. I like that you seem genuinely self-reflective and even a little uncomfortable with the chart-topping success your appropriation of black music has enjoyed. And I believe that the rampant opioid abuse and overdoses happening now in our country is an issue near and dear to your heart. You mention in this address — as well as on the track “Kevin” on your wholly underrated sophomore album with Ryan Lewis, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made — that a friend of yours was taken from you in his prime by an opioid addiction that cost him his life. You’re in good company: The recent study the president cites, a national survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, reports that 44 percent of Americans know someone who has been addicted to prescription painkillers. In your song’s refrain, you rightly track the root of this problem back to its all-too-common origin — a doctor’s office: Doctor, please, give me a dose of the American dream Put down the pen and look in my eyes We’re in the waiting room and something ain’t right All this is on y...
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