A few months after debuting the epic video for “Downtown” and giving a show-stopping performance at the MTV VMAs, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took the stage at the 2015 American Music Awards to perform a new, deeply personal track with Leon Bridges called “Kevin.”
Dressed in a suit, the Seattle rapper began his track that seems like a personal reference to his own battle with substance abuse. “I hate myself, and nobody’s gonna cure this pain,” he rapped, inviting out the soul singer to belt the chorus. “Doctor please, give me a dose of the American dream / Put down the pen and look at my eye / When the waiting room and something ain’t right / All this is on you / We’re overprescribed,” sang Bridges.
In September, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis said that they only have a few more songs to complete for the follow-up to their Grammy-winning album The Heist. Starting in January, they will hit the road for a tour, kicking off in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 9.
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 bandaid over our pain/anxiety. Not only is the topic close to home because of Kevin and others that I've lost to pills, it's close to me because of my addiction. I've come very close to dying. I'm far from proud of that, but it's my truth. I wish I could say I'm cured. That I have it all figured out. But that's not the case. One day at a time I work to stay sober. There's so much more to say. And hopefully a bigger conversation to be had. But I didn't want to share this song without giving some context. I think of Kevin. I miss him. I hope he's somewhere listening to this… I hope he got to watch our performance last night. I hope he'd be proud.