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With hits like the pro-gay “Same Love” and profuse apologizes to Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore subsequently molded a squeaky-clean image for his placement in Hip-Hop’s periscope. In his latest Complex cover story, the Seattle-born, breakout pop star revealed that dealing with the pressures of fame and upholding said image caused him to dive into substance abuse.

Namely marijuana to stay hazy-headed and sleeping pills to shut his body down.

“I held it together for a while. But, eventually, I stopped going to my 12-step meetings. I was burnt out. I was super-stressed. We weren’t sleeping – doing a show every day, zigzagging all over the country,” Macklemore, 32, (born Ben Haggerty) tells Kris Ex. “In terms of the media I was getting put into a box that I never saw myself. The pressure and the fame – everything. All the clichés, man, like not being able to walk around, having no privacy, and from this TV appearance to this TV appearance, and the criticism, and the lack of connection, and the lack of meetings – all of that put into one pie was just… I just wanted to escape.”

It was when his fiancée Tricia Davis discovered sleeping pills in his shoes during SXSW did he decided to clean up his act and switch to a more acceptable vice in the form of marijuana. Alas it didn’t cure his state of seclusion.

“I sat in a car, a hot boxed car and got high,” he admitted. “Everyone knew, but they didn’t necessarily know. And then the next day it was like, ‘What’s up with the weed?’ And once I’m there, it’s over.”

Of course, this “sneaky” behavior hiding his drug use has drastically affected his relationship with his right-hand man and producer Ryan Lewis. After the pair won four Grammys in 2013 (including the controversial pick of Rap Album of the Year over Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city,) their follow-up has been stalled out even though Kendrick released his follow-up earlier this year to rave reviews.

Today, a more focused (and sober) Macklemore is concentrating on fatherhood and finishing up the new album.

Photo: Judy Eddy/