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5 Rappers Who Addressed Their Addictions

April 13, 2023

A study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 analyzed Billboard magazine’s list of the 279 most popular songs of 2005. The results showed that substance use was referenced in 77 percent of rap songs, the highest percentage of drug mentions among all genres included in the study. Since the 1980s, rappers have referenced substance use in lyrics. Some have paid homage to drug use and its euphoric benefits.

rappers on drugs

Broward County Circuit Judge Barbara Duffy ruled earlier this month that prosecutors could not refute or negate the fact that the rapper, whose real name is Bill Kapri, had an oxycodone prescription filled by a pharmacy. MIAMI — South Florida rapper Kodak Black was freed from jail Wednesday after a federal judge sentenced him to time served for a probation violation, though a drug trafficking case from 2022 remains ongoing. Eminem credits fatherhood with helping him to get sober once and for all. Other sober rappers include Macklemore, Kendrick Lamar, Ice-T, and Andre 3000. Just like the media projects of the “Just Say No” era, these films all had anti-violence, anti-drug messages at their core. But what set them apart, in true Hip Hop fashion, was their commitment to telling the stories of those who’d been marginalized in the PSAs and made-for-TV movies of the ‘80s.

Chance The Rapper

Recently there has been a noticeable shift in the mindset of some MCs when it comes to self-medicating on opiates. These days, prescription drugs seem to be a part of the rapper starter kit. While, for the most part, drug use in hip-hop has never been taboo (meaning you can’t totally blame this on the kiddos), the promotion and use of drugs of the highly addictive nature is at an all-time high. Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more.

  • In March 2019, Nipsey Hussle was shot dead outside his Los Angeles clothing store.
  • Despite his repulsion, Jay-Z began selling crack in the 1980s.
  • Another rapper who tragically fell victim to substance use is the Grammy-winning hip-hop star Coolio.
  • His friends described him as generally happy and not likely to succumb to drugs.
  • Later, they had a squat for a while together and ran events.

For the next few years, the rapper struggled with addiction to prescription drugs, including Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium. In 2005, Eminem went to rehab and successfully achieved sobriety after spending time there. Gustav Elijah Åhr (November 1, 1996 – November 15, 2017), aka Lil
Peep, remains one of “emo raps” most influential figures. Discovered on SoundCloud,
the Long Island-based rapper developed a cult following before experiencing
mainstream success with his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober,
Pt. 1, which peaked at number 38 on the Billboard 200 in 2017.

men found guilty of murder in Jam Master Jay killing

In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota. He’s another cautionary tale on our list of rappers who overdosed. Rap was also deeply engaged with the crack epidemic and War on Drugs. At the time, a common retort from rappers to criticism of their lyrics was that they were merely reflecting the reality of the streets. It was dismissed by some as an excuse but when it comes to crack, they were telling the truth.

Andre 3000 may experiment with bow ties and suspenders, but he doesn’t toy with drugs. Word has it that Ice Cold hasn’t touched a mind-altering substance for nearly two decades. Andre decided to make the change after partying too hard in his younger days. “I actually looked in the mirror and saw myself deteriorating,” Andre 3000 told “VIBE” in 2012. “I was like, ‘Man, we’re doing too much—way too much.” He is also a vegetarian. At the peak of her career model-turned-rapper Chynna Rogers was tragically found dead due to drug abuse on April 8, 2022, in her home in Philadelphia.

Belfast rappers Kneecap on stunts, drugs and Kemi Badenoch: ‘We don’t discriminate who we piss off’

On April 26, 2014, Rashad Harden was discovered by a friend in an apartment on Chicago’s West Side, surrounded by narcotics and drug-related items. In January 2021, then-President Donald Trump commuted a three-year federal prison sentence the rapper rappers on drugs had for falsifying documents used to buy weapons. U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Miami handed down the sentence nearly two weeks after a drug possession charge was dismissed in neighboring Broward County, according to court records.

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