Popping tags ain't easy. Neither is keeping $20 in your pocket. Macklemore is learning that the hard way. The Seattle rapper, who rocketed to overnight mainstream success with 'Thrift Shop,' despite putting in years of sweat equity on the indie scene, has admitted that he struggles to stay sober since netting a No. 1 smash hit.

"The last three months haven't been good for me – the pressure, the expectation, the lack of sleep, the stress, the traveling," the 29-year-old said about the occupational hazards that follow him. "I can't escape Macklemore. I just want to get the f--- out of my own head."

The rapper, who had gone to rehab to address drug and alcohol issues, has maintained sobriety since Aug. 2008. He took Rolling Stone with him to an AA meeting in Austin, Texas during SXSW and it was his first session in two months. Inviting a major magazine along for that ride is a risky and bold move, that's for sure, but the rapper was truly laying it on the line.

"It's been a struggle the past year," the Top 40 sensation said. "It's very important to go into the rooms of AA, smell the s---ty coffee and be reminded that without sobriety, I would have no career."

Even though 'Thrift Shop' is one of the biggest songs of the year, Macklemore got there through years of hard work. He and Ryan Lewis release all their music themselves via a self-run label and they produce their merch in house. "I spent a lot of my life rapping and not making enough money to live, and gratefully, that's not the case anymore," he says. "But not having a foreseeable end date in sight is a little bit scary."

Well, Mack, we love ya, but enjoy the success you've earned since the end usually ticks off in about 15 minutes...

Watch the Macklemore 'Thrift Shop' Video