Back in the ’00s, Gym Class Heroes were the among the hungry crop of indie alt-Hip Hop acts that were giving the majors a run for their money, and Travie McCoy was their frontman and face.
Over the years, the towering rap rocker has enjoyed group and solo success (most notably with his 2010 Top 5 Billboard Hot 100 smash with Bruno Mars, “Billionaire”) but his run hasn’t come without consequences.
During his appearance on R.A. The Rugged Man’s Ignorant Long Island Guy’s Podcast, McCoy disclosed how he beat a heroin addiction that could have killed him.
“I tore my ACL, MCL, meniscus; twisted all that shit up so I’m in the hospital all summer and they put me on OxyContin,” McCoy, 35, recalled. “And they sent me home with a prescription full [of Oxy] and from that point on … and the first time I ran out, I got hella sick withdrawals.”
Opting to cold turkey the habit instead of following a doctor’s advice to re-up on the potent pills led to McCoy being clean for a year, though he was eventually going as far as snorting crushed Oxy on the recreational tip. From there, instead of draining his pockets with the $30-a-pill street price for the painkillers, McCoy says he made the ill-advised decision to switch to full-blown heroin to feed the need. And he admits he was a functioning addict.
“We did the [American Music Awards] with Adam Levine a few years ago … and I don’t remember doing that shit at all but I killed it!” he said with a laugh before adding the disclaimer that he clearly doesn’t advise anyone to follow his blueprint to a hard sobriety. “I would have loved to remember those moments that I don’t remember that I’ve gotten through and not alarmed anyone but I don’t remember.”
According to a 2016 report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, heroin use in the United States has increased 145% since 2007. The drug has been cited among the most addictive substances, but McCoy told R.A. and Co. he’s been clean for 3 1/2 years and counting, citing the birth of his niece as instrumental in his will to live.
Watch the entire Travie McCoy interview here, which also includes Mr. Green, Happy Accident, and Scrooge.