Five rappers speak out about the dangers of hip-hop's most "trendy" drugs.
Drugs and hip-hop have always coexisted. Over the years, artists like Cypress Hill, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and more recently Wiz Khalifa cultivated and created a musical sub-genre known as “Weed Rap.” While it’s no secret that many rappers have a deep-seeded love of marijuana, the drug has transcended hip-hop culture and become widely accepted by the mainstream. In fact, parts of the United States have already begun the legalization process, with Canada soon to follow. What once began as a predominantly “hip-hop” lifestyle has gone on to achieve ubiquity.
In recent years, another drug-fueled movement has taken shape. “Lean,” which consists of promethazine, codeine, and Sprite, has become the drug o’ choice for more rappers than you might think. Artists like Mac Miller and ScHoolboy Q have both battled lean addiction, and Future has made some of his most critically acclaimed music while exploring the dark alleys of lean abuse. Despite the fact that he claims not to use it, Future has been largely seen as one of the main spokespeople for lean use, largely due to the so-called glamorization effect prevalent on albums like Dirty Sprite 2. Even popular artists Lil Wayne and Young Thug have been hit with waves of concern over their seemingly reckless lean use.
Now, a new generation of rappers have become near-synonymous with lean, with rising acts like Lil Pump and Smokepurpp never far from a double cup. And while it’s alarming enough when a grown-ass-man dives into the depths of addiction, the fact is, these kids are sixteen and seventeen years old. Not to mention the fact that their fanbase is probably made up of even younger, even more impressionable listeners. It can’t be helping matters to have legions of pre-teens screaming “I’m on the Xan, ou, I’m on the Xan, ou” at the top of their underdeveloped lungs.
This increasingly dangerous epidemic has been opening the door for discourse, and yesterday, Russ kicked said door wide open. The New Jersey artist wore a shirt that said “"How much Xans and lean do you have to do before you realize you're a fucking loser.” This inevitably prompted some backlash, but Russ stuck to his principles amidst the flurries of seething online rage. And while Twitter is hardly the go-to forum for a well-rounded, two-sided debate, the rapper deserves props for speaking out on a controversial subject.
On that note, here are five artists to have spoken out against lean and Xanax.