Macklemore is ready for his closeup and he gets it, thanks to his first Rolling Stone cover story. The cover isn't just a shot of Mack's face. It indicates just how intimate he gets with the mag, discussing his past as an alcoholic and an addict. His partner Ryan Lewis is absent from the cover, something he's not bitter about.

Macklemore, born Ben Haggerty, confessed that as his career took off, after years of hard work, his sobriety was nearly compromised.

"I went through a place of not being happy, getting put in the box of 'This is a novelty rap song,' and being like, 'What did I sign up for?,'" he said.

While people loved the song about popping tags, he further cemented his place in the pop pantheon with the pro-gay-rights track 'Same Love' and he realized "the legacy that I'm leaving on the world is more than just a song about second-hand clothes."

And about is partner Ryan Lewis? He is okay with his anonymity, which is likely due to the fact that he's a less flashy dresser.

"I think on the mainstream level, nobody knows what the f--k I am," he said." Am I the DJ? Do I make the beats? Do I rap? Am I singing on tracks? I don't think a lot of people know except real fans who have been around. I mean, you guys, Rolling Stone, don't want to put me on the cover. It's like, you're going to sell more copies with Ben's face. Why is that? Because the general public, based on the way this whole thing's been marketed . . . are going to be more receptive to 'Macklemore.' The public don't care how the song came together. And I can't change that. So if I have jealousy, deriving from that, then that's just stupid."

The issue lands on Aug. 16.