Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Problem Plaguing the Nation: Explained Through Music Poetry

The song "Drug Dealer" by Macklemore was a single released in 2016. While it is a great song with a catchy chorus, it hides a deeper meaning that connects to Macklemore's real life. The underlying message of this song is that drug addictions, specifically prescribed drug addictions, are a problem of today. He is criticizing big pharmaceutical corporations who continue to sell these drugs to people who don't need them, and the doctors who are prescribing these drugs. Throughout the song he relates this issue to a number of celebrities who overdosed in the past couple years. While also explaining the experience of his personal friend who died in 2010 from overdosing on a more popular prescription drug called suboxone (there's another song about this friend even more specifically called "Other Side" that is also really good and and could also be considered poetry). In addition to all these connections he talks about his own experience with addiction and how that has affected his life. Macklemore uses a variety of poetic language to get this message across.

Macklemore uses a variation of imagery, tone and multidimensional language to get his message across to the listener. Towards the beginning of the song he says "But I seen homies turn grey, noses draining blood/ I could've been gone, off 30's, faded in that tub", this is one of his uses of imagery. This adds a lot to the overall theme and message of the song by showing how personal this issue is to him while expressing it in a way that creates an intense image for the person listening. An image of drug overdose is one thing, but a image of an actual dead person with pale skin is so much worse. Although this seems to be his intention. I also think this could relate to being a "true story" because when you hear that line it makes your stomach turn and cringe.

At the end of the first verse he says "Take Activis off the market, jack the price up on the syrup". This shows his use of tone to express the past issue with the Activis drug company taking their cough syrup off the market because of it's negative use to make lean. Macklemore emphasizes this line by using a lot of articulation on sharper words like Activis, market and jack. Much like a spoken word poem would put emphasis on certain words to increase their significance.

Lastly he uses multidimensional language when he says "The whole while, these billionaires, stay caked-up/ paying out congress so we take their drugs". This line refers to the big corporations who fund pharmacies to sell prescription drugs. More specifically when he says "these billionaires stay caked up" he is using multidimensional language. In one way he says "caked up" as in continuing to make ridiculous amounts of money. While in another way using "caked up" to refer to make up users who apply to much make up or "caking their faces" to hide their faces, similar to how these corporations are hiding behind pharmacies selling the drugs that make them money. Macklemore uses his popularity in music to inform people of this problem killing thousands. He does this by using poetic techniques that get his point across in a really powerful way.

Image result for drug dealer macklemore


  1. I really like your explanation as to why you think that song is poetry and i can see why you think that. I like how you used tone to show why the song is poetic

  2. I like how you show that what he sings about it personal and relateable to him. It is a good song and you did a good job analyzing verses I have never realized are so meaningful.