DJ Drama's Opioid Addiction Cost Him Six Figures Every Year, He Says After Recovery

BYGabriel Bras Nevares3.1K Views
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 26: DJ Drama performs onstage during NTWRK, Audible and Amazon Music's Celebration of the Opening of Hip-Hop Sounds & Stories at NTWRK LA on August 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for NTWRK, Amazon Music & Audible)

The "Gangsta Grillz" icon is fortunately in a much better place, and recently reflected on the factors that compelled him to get clean.

During a recent interview with the Broken Record podcast, DJ Drama revealed just how worrisome his opioid addiction got. Moreover, the Gangsta Grillz legend said that he was spending six figures a year on pills and similar substances, and recalled a few factors that made him reconsider his lifestyle. First, he checked into rehab in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but relapsed toward the end of the year. Then, following a near-overdose in Atlanta, the Philly producer and record host knew that he had to get clean or face even more dire consequences. The path to recovery is by no means an easy one, and his fears actually ended up becoming a large source of motivation to do better for himself.

The 45-year-old detoxed before his 2022 trek with Logic and Wiz Khalifa. "I used to tell [my therapist] Amy all the time, my biggest fear is ending up like Michael Jackson or Prince," DJ Drama confessed about 37 minutes into the conversation. "Opioids is such a dangerous drug, because there's no end in sight. If it can take the lives of Michael Jackson or Prince, who the f**k am I? That was always my fear: death.

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DJ Drama's Broken Record Guest Slot

"I know how easy it is for it to become a problem," DJ Drama continued. "It's scary. The scariest part and the most dangerous part is that it was a five-to-six thousand dollars a month habit I had. I was spending close to six figures a year on opioids. I was in a position where I could afford the type of habit of doing that. The average person can't do that. The next step after opioids or not being able to afford consistent Percocets is heroin."

Meanwhile, the record executive recently spoke to XXL about his Generation Now artist Lil Uzi Vert's own sobriety journey, which might have coincided with his own. "I'm super proud of [them]," he stated. "I'm sure that for [them], being able to approach the music from that aspect was eye-opening and something different. Something that a mature Uzi, who's at a different stage in [their] life and [their] career, is able to accomplish." We wish the best for both artists and congratulate them on this path. On that note, keep checking in with HNHH for the latest news and updates on DJ Drama.

Read More: DJ Drama Reveals Who He Wants To Work With For Future “Gangsta Grillz” Projects


About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.