Album: This Unruly Mess I've Made (2015)


  • This song is about the perils of prescription pill addiction. It details the story of the titular young man who became addicted to OxyContin and died. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis debuted the tune during the AMAs on November 22, 2015 along with guest vocalist Leon Bridges.
  • Macklemore: "This one is personal… I started writing it when my friend Kevin passed from an overdose on prescription medication. It was my attempt to process his death. To grieve. And also to examine the over abundance of prescription drugs in America. How quick we're taught at an early age to put a pharmaceutical band aid over our pain/anxiety."
  • Bridges, who had just released his acclaimed debut, Coming Home, that same year, didn't know what to expect when he flew to Seattle to meet with the duo. "I didn't know what the vibe was," he told Rolling Stone. "Basically, the song is saying that we can't put a band-aid on certain medical problems. I don't know too much about his friend, but it's an honor to have been a part of it. A lot of my friends, they were a little skeptical of the fact that I would do a song with him, but I think it’s great that I didn't have to compromise."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.

Lace the Music: How LSD Changed Popular MusicSong Writing

Starting in Virginia City, Nevada and rippling out to the Haight-Ashbury, LSD reshaped popular music.

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.