ADDICTION – A look at drugs and hip-hop

In hip hop culture artists are self described reporters on what’s going on in the world around them.

Many have gotten out of their circumstances by telling their experiences.

Now in the streaming era where independence is praised and equipment is readily accessible there’s no more gatekeepers and those who build a loyal fan base can support their own brand.

Some critics have said that rap music has turned from rapping about selling drugs to them expressing how they take the drugs.

Future’s Mask Off starts with an infectious chant of “percocet, molly, percocet”.

He in particular has gained popularity with audiences inviting them to a codeine laced trip through his mind.

The problem is when people write off hip hop’s history with drugs as just a product of ‘mumble rap’.

Yes it’s true that early records like Grandmaster Flash’s The Message were cultural conscious this was also when many thought of cocaine as a party drug which gave way to ‘ready rock’ or ‘crack’.

I feel this is the same with ecstasy or better know in the community as molly.

Historically this was also seen as a party drug and now it’s moved from the clubs to the hip hop airwaves.

Biggie starts a song with “some say the X make the sex spectacular” and Ja Rule had a whole song dedicated to the drug.

It was common knowledge the Murder Inc crew including Irv Gotti and friend Nore were early adapters while State Property leader Beanie Sigel was partial to marijuana dipped in PCP serving it “wet”.

Then in the mid 2000s we saw the “best rapper alive” Lil Wayne struggle mightily with his addiction to promethazine better know as ‘lean’.

Prevalent in the South especially in Houston drinking lean was as apart of the culture as listening to slowed down music.

DJ Screw created the “chopped and screwed” style of music, he also partook in sipping ‘syrup’.

But sadly both him and UGK’s Pimp C died of an overdose.

During the release of Carter 3 QD3’s documentary on Lil Wayne shows him with bottles of the mixture and him lashes out against those closest to him.

Though he’s epileptic his of ‘lean’ doesn’t help with him having multiple seizures in recent years.



#tbt this was my life 10 years ago. All these kids now searching for Actavis when the shits been gone for at least 5 years. I was drinking a pint a day circa 2004-2009 until I almost died. On New Year’s Eve 2007 I went to the ER for a promethazine overdose. And said “that’s it I’m quitting!” When really I didn’t realize, it wasn’t that easy. The worst sweats and shakes ever. Pissing out my ass for a month. Anxiety out of this earth. And guess what? I went right back to it a month later. I was completely obsessed with lean. A total loser. I was making calls to pharmacy’s and flying to Houston or anywhere I could get pints. At a certain point I don’t think I was even getting high anymore, I was just drinking because of the taste. I would pour sprite into empty bottles and swish it around for one sip. Scrape residue of purp off my teeth to have that taste. It’s the easiest drug to do and if you ever tasted Actavis or Alpharma, you know the shit is delicious. I didn’t do it because it was cool. I did it because I was addicted and couldn’t stop. I’m posting this because this shit almost killed me twice and I’ve seen too many people die from this. So just know, this shit is nothing to play with. I wanted to start a family and live long enough to see my kids flourish. I’m posting this now because I hope to save a life or 2 or 1000. That shit y’all are drinking now is trash btw and I can’t imagine drinking it just because it looks like the OG Drank and gets you lit but doesn’t have the same taste. Nah bruh. Again. That shit will kill you! Knock all that silly nonsense off. Live your best life. If shit didn’t work out with the 1 or 2 things you tried doing, you can always start over and do something new. It’s never too late. Happy thanksgiving. God bless. I’m not a religious person but I am spiritual and I do wish you all well. I’m very grateful for my life today so I thought I’d share a part of my life that wasn’t so great but kids like to glorify today. 🙏🏼

While Chance The Rapper and Schoolboy Q both talked about how hard it is to give up their addictions, Xanax with Chano and ‘lean’ with School a loss in the hip hop community caused pause.

Fredo Santana was hospitalized for kidney and liver failure after constant drug use.

Lil Peep was found dead on his tour bus after combining a mixture of drugs including ingesting multiple Xanax pills.

In this social media era there’s an increase of visibility and while many addicts can be functioning to be addicted to this degree and for the culture to openly speak on it has caused artists like Russ, Wale and Wiz Khalifia to speak up against it.

Lil Uzi Vert and xxxtentacion are joining and trying to stop their respective drugs.

Unfortunately it seems for many it took an artist’s death to began to consider the at risk side effects of drugs similarly to when Pimp C died.

For those consumers who are influenced by what rappers say, don’t try these drugs instead avoid addiction which is costly financially and emotionally.

And those who are struggling with addiction there’s always a way out. Seek help and take care of yourself.

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