The following list highlights how the hip-hop community, like all, is not immune to the deadly influences of the drug culture. Ol’ Dirty Bastard was one of the greatest voices in hip-hop. But unfortunately, he was high most moments of his life. The beloved but troubled rapper died of a fatal mixture of cocaine and the prescription drug Tramadol in 2004. It’s rumored that his drug abuse was some kind of self-medication for mental instability, but whatever the case, his powers on the mic are dearly missed.
As the narcotic aesthetic becomes less fashionable, rappers are becoming more mindful of the message they are sending to fans. Artists including Isaiah Rashad, Lucki, Travis Scott and Danny Brown have spoken out about prescription drug addiction. Sacramento rapper Mozzy has sober rappers urged his followers to quit lean. Lucki, considered by some to be the father of SoundCloud rap, talks in Freewave 3 about his mother looking up the effect of lean on his kidneys. Even Lil Xan, easily most cavalier artist in this group, has considered changing his name.
Chance the Rapper ‘Would’ve Died’ From Xanax Use If He Didn’t Have His ‘Spirit Tugged On’
“The drug takes away a depressive stage or an anxiety state and without it, the anxiety takes over and people will do anything they can to stop it,” Evans said. UCLA graduate history student Michael Dean said decades of American presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, turned away from investing in disadvantaged communities that house many Black and brown populations. They opted for mass incarceration of those involved with drugs instead. Many of these affected communities were the birthplaces of hip-hop, he said.
However, following the death of a close friend of his, rapper Proof, Em relapsed in 2006. In 2007, the rapper almost died due to an accidental methadone overdose. After the incident, he picked himself up and got sober in 2008. Eminem’s battle with addiction is documented in some of the rapper’s albums. Relapse and Recovery, in particular, are two concept albums that detail the rapper’s relapse and recovery from drug addiction.
Not that he’s totally out of the red zone (he recently had to close down a bunch of fast-food chicken restaurants), but at least he’s no longer battling an addiction to crack. In the early ’90s, Flav caught some flak from his fellow Public Enemy members for showing up late to shows, but they didn’t even know the real problem. He eventually checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic, and, y’know, found love in one form or another on VH1. Now, he’s back on the road with his pals and bringing the hype to the stage without any serious drug problems. Zoe has been a staff writer at The Source since January of 2017. She specializes in pop culture, music, tech, politics, women’s issues, and more.
- If recent pictures are anything to go by, it looks like Guwop has stayed sober.
- “The younger kids don’t do stuff as much, because they see all the shit that happened in the last few years.” For those who do still indulge, drug-testing kits are becoming common.
- But there are plenty of rappers who find that life is better without substances.
- His friends described him as generally happy and not likely to succumb to drugs.
Cudi informed his manager about his intention to go into rehab and was checked in soon after. Although it was a tough ride, and he tried to escape three times in the process, Cudi eventually beat his addiction. Along with his friend Chris Smith, the two were discovered in an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupri in 1990. “Jump” stayed at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight weeks in 1992 and the duo’s album, Totally Krossed Out (1992), went multiplatinum. The two also started a short-lived trend of wearing clothes backward. While the group had two semi-successful studio albums, Kelly attended school to become a studio engineer and remained working in music until his death in 2013.
Rappers Who Are Drug-Free
While cocaine dominated the first half of the 2000s, another trend was brewing. Three 6 Mafia’s “Sippin’ On Some Syrup” and Big Moe’s City Of Syrup set the stage for hip-hop’s new drug of choice—lean. DJ Screw passed away in 2000 and UGK’s Pimp C died from a codeine overdose in 2007, right around the time Lil Wayne was diving in head first. Kid Cudi is well-known for addressing themes of addiction in his music, and in interviews he has revealed more about his personal struggles with substance abuse. Fans need to step up and take more accountability, he said. Instead of pestering artists to keep putting out more music when they take mental health breaks, Braboy said fans should send messages of support to artists and treat them like humans instead of machines.
- While many of the rappers on this have either dabbled or gone deep into addiction, Tyler, The Creator has basically never been tempted.
- However, because of drug regulations and laws that criminalize certain substances more than others, he said minority groups are disproportionately punished as a result.
- DJ Screw passed away in 2000 and UGK’s Pimp C died from a codeine overdose in 2007, right around the time Lil Wayne was diving in head first.
- No doubt the rapper and businessman’s sobriety has helped him in his ventures, which have seen him become one of the most successful rappers of his generation.
- Andre decided to make the change after partying too hard in his younger days.
- Call them straight edge, call them teetotal – these guys have discovered that alcohol and drugs don’t do them any good.
“The younger kids don’t do stuff as much, because they see all the shit that happened in the last few years.” For those who do still indulge, drug-testing kits are becoming common. “No one was testing drugs before Peep died,” says Morgan. This article will introduce you to some of our generation’s sober rappers. Call them straight edge, call them teetotal – these guys have discovered that alcohol and drugs don’t do them any good. It turns out that some of the most famous and successful rappers of all time don’t drink alcohol or take drugs. A former drug dealer, 50 Cent is sufficiently knowledgeable about the adverse effects of drug abuse.