Macklemore visits Green Hill School to support youth who produced fentanyl-awareness music video


Award-winning rapper Macklemore surprised young artists at Green Hill School in Chehalis on Friday, March 8, by attending the watch party for a youth-produced anti-fentanyl campaign video, “Dark Road.” 

The video was created in partnership with The Bridge Music Project for the SAMHSA Fentanyl Awareness Youth Challenge to raise awareness about fentanyl, empower youth to develop a strategy to educate their peers about the substance, and prevent drug-overdose deaths.

“This was our first time connecting with Macklemore, and we just felt thrilled that he came through and showed his support for the music video and for the youth that are in addiction recovery. It really meant a lot to everyone,” said The Bridge Music Project Executive Director Bobby Williams.

An Olympia-based non-profit that conducts workshops across the region, The Bridge Music Project worked with seven Green Hill School residents for eight weeks this year to write, produce and create an original music video.

“The core behind this work is that we’re helping you to build life skills, things like following through on a project when it’s hard, communicating and working with each other, (having) the self confidence to share your story on stage,” Williams said. “It’s music and it’s fun, but there’s a bigger mission beyond just music.”

The seven Green Hill School residents who took part in the program — six of which were Ron, Diante, Justin, Blake, Connor and TJ — were recruited by staff or other advocates within the facility, Williams said.

“Each participant had a personal connection to the issue, whether it was a parent, cousin or friend they had lost,” the Washington state Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), which runs Green Hill School, said in a news release.

“Through this creative opportunity, the young people working on this project became friends and shared their personal experiences of loss due to addiction,” DCYF stated in the news release.

After the video premiere on Friday, “the talented young people shared powerful messages about the impact of fentanyl, the importance of creating art in their rehabilitative journey, and reflections on what they would tell their younger selves,” DCYF stated.

One resident stated, “The issue is sad, and people fall victim, and there needs to be a way to overcome it and have people by their side. People struggle with loneliness or poverty when fighting addiction and need people in their corner.”

Macklemore, a Grammy-winning rapper from Seattle and a longtime addiction recovery advocate, shared his recovery journey and support for the Green Hill artists during his visit. He also took the time to have impactful conversations with those attending the “Dark Road” premiere.

When reflecting on the music video, Macklemore said, “As someone that is in recovery, has the disease of addiction, and I think even with the intent of potentially reaching the youth … it reached me because I think you are speaking to that hopelessness.”

He ended the discussion by saying, “Thank you for sharing your stories … This is a community. This is an opportunity, and you are taking advantage of it by being here today.”

“Dark Road” is now available to watch on YouTube at

The Bridge Music Project will begin its next eight-week community songwriting workshop on Monday, March 18. This workshop takes place at the Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia and is open to all youth ages 14 to 20 but is specifically targeted to youth “who have had big challenges like foster care, homelessness or incarceration,” Williams said. 

For more information, to enroll or to volunteer as a mentor, visit

Green Hill School is a medium/maximum security fenced facility in Chehalis that provides older males sentenced to juvenile rehabilitation treatment with education and vocational training.