Lil Peep, who reportedly died from an overdose of Xanax, is one of the most recent of plenty of deaths of artists that have revolved around the usage of drugs. Of course, Pimp C notably died from an overdose of lean, Lil Wayne has suffered from seizures because of the drug and, even outside of hip hop, Michael Jackson was found dead from cardiac arrest due to drugs. Recently, artists like Wiz Khalifa and Russ have tried to speak out against the usage of drugs in their own way, but that points to a bigger problem in music, the fact that they have to speak out.
Before I go further, i just want to say that this is not for the people who are dealing with addiction or depression and speaking out about it because this is not to condemn them. For example, Future was talking about his usage of drugs on his hit 2015 album DS2 to help him deal with his depression, and even more recently this year, Lil Uzi Vert’s song “XO Tour Llif3” tackled a similar idea as he said in the song “She say I’m insane, yeah, I might blow my brain out. Xanny, help the pain, yeah. Please, Xanny, make it go away. I’m committed, not addicted, but it keep control of meAll the pain, now I can’t feel itI swear that it’s slowin’ me, yeah.” Even in Kendrick’s 2012 hit Swimming Pools, he was talking about the effects that alcohol had on him.
This is about the people who are glorifying the usage of drugs and make it seem fun or exciting.
This is not to say that people like Travis Scott, Lil Pump, Future (aside from DS2), or anybody else is necessarily a bad artist, but the fact that they make drugs sound good is troublesome. The chorus of Future’s 2017 hit “Mask Off” is literally “Percocet, Molly, Percocet.” On Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” he said “My b*tch loves to do cocaine, yuh.” And plenty of other artists have done similar things.
This can go back to the idea of whether an artist should be looked at as a role model or not, but this is much deeper than that.
Although they should be able to sing or rap about whatever they want to, they do have to realize that they have a huge audience at their following and people of all types of ages are going to hear their music whether it’s intended for them to or not.
While older people may be able to tell the difference between right and wrong better, younger people may still be tempted to do something just because their favorite artist makes it sound enjoyable.
As a college student, I know a few people who have tried lean just because they want to see what it’s like since rappers talk about it so much just freely.
Overall, I don’t think that we should censor what artists talk about, but they should realize that people are listening and will be copying what they’re doing, so it’s important that we have people like Wiz and Russ speak out and try to prevent future people from doing so. And for those who are in an addiction, I wish them the best of luck in getting help to deal with that vice.
How do you guys feel about artists referencing drugs in music? Is it not that big of a deal or do you agree artists should stop promoting it? Let us know in the comments below!