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.
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.