I think drug use in the rap industry is at an all-time high. Rappers are using drugs as an escape to not feel pain because we see a rise of rappers with mental health issues.
In 2018, many young rappers have died due to drug abuse. But it seems that after Mac Miller died in September (due to an overdose), the conversation on the rise of drug abuse in the Hip Hop community is taken more seriously. Many people are concerned that due to new up-coming rappers talking about their mental health battles and how drugs have helped ‘take the pain away,’ it is being promoted and glamorized. “I think drug use in the rap industry is at an all-time high. Rappers are using drugs as an escape to not feel pain because we see a rise of rappers with mental health issues,” said Chantal Doffoe friend of up coming Vancouver rapper 2hunnit.
Rapper Fredo Santana died in January 2018 due to liver and kidney failure that was most likely caused by the popular drink In the hip hop community called ‘Lean,’ which is a drink that contains cough syrup, sprite, Xanax and candy. Santana said he used it to get away from his PTSD due to his violent life growing up in Chicago, Illinois. Many rappers have used their music to communicate their feelings, but are the fans really listening? The beats used often take away from the lyrics.
Future is a rapper that puts all his emotions in his songs, but the
lyrics are never taken seriously because the beat gets people dancing. Future’s melancholic song ‘Codeine Crazy’ explores the fact that he knows Lean is fatal and dangerous, but he drinks it anyway because it distracts him from everything that is going on around him. Even though rappers are using songs to express their drug use to get away from their issues, does that mean they are glamorizing it and promoting it? “I strongly believe drugs are being glamorized. We see rappers like Lil Pump making songs called ‘Drug Addicts’, which promotes his younger audience that being on drugs is cool,” said grade 9 Riverside student Kyla Smith.
Others disagree. “That is their life and they are just telling their story; it’s the same thing as a pop artist talking about a breakup. They are not telling kids to go do drugs, they are just putting their thoughts in a poetic way. Rappers should not get blamed because they are not our parents, nor are we their responsibility. Our parents should talk with us and monitor us on drug use,” said grade 9 Riverside student Ella Aspinall.
A lot of rappers are realizing that they should start talking to people about mental health in hopes that it will help the addictions. The issue on drug use has made its way into the rap lyrics and it will be hard to take them out. But all artists and fans alike, should seek help and realise that medicating with drugs is a dangerous path.