5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

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Chance The Rapper

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.


5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

As stated above, Russ’ tweets took a more hostile approach toward those who glorify lean and xanax usage. By calling anyone who does so a “fucking loser,” he made his thoughts known loud and clear. His tell-it-like-it-is manner has no doubt annoyed some people in the past, but here, his intentions are undeniably noble.

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Russ is afraid that the new generation will pick up some dangerous habits while trying to emulate their favorite rappers. Many felt that Russ was taking some indirect shots at Lil Pump, but that has yet to escalate.

If I stopped ONE kid from abusing xans or lean, mission accomplished..better than getting ONE kid to try that shit. Period.

— Russ (@russdiemon) September 11, 2017

Doing xanax and lean cuz your favorite rapper makes it sound cool is all fun and games till your impressionable ass gets addicted. Stop.

— Russ (@russdiemon) September 11, 2017

A lotta rappers have romanticized & glorified drug abuse. That shits not cool. Peoples lives get ruined from that shit. Grow up.

— Russ (@russdiemon) September 11, 2017

Ty Dolla $ign

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

While Ty Dolla $ign has no problem laughing about his marijuana usage, he’s quick to advise against Lean abuse. Some might feel some type of way about picking-and-choosing which drug to fight for, but the facts are the facts. People don’t tend to die from smoking weed, but mixing lean and Xanax can have fatal results. That fact is not lost on Ty, and when asked whether rappers should “quit lean,” he fires back with an instant “yes. Lean is dead.”

However, when pressed, he loosens his stance, falling back on the mentality of “do what you want to do.” The message may not be as intense as Russ’ Twitter rant, but it’s clear that Ty Dolla $ign is no fan of the culture’s current drug obsession.

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

Isaiah Rashad

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

Last year, TDE’s most underrated Isaiah Rasahd also spoke out about the perils of lean addiction. The rapper first discovered the deadly combination of Xanax and alcohol while on the Oxymoron tour with ScHoolboy Q, who has faced his own struggles with addiction. The way Rasahd tells it, he was doing so many drugs that he ultimately ended up tearing his stomach lining. Not only that, he claimed in the interview below that things were so out of whack that he almost got dropped three times. It got so bad that his label manager, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith ended up stepping in to intervene with a firm ultimatum.

Tiffith told Rasah that his music would no longer be released unless he cleaned up his act, and Isaiah eventually came through. Now, the rapper no longer pops Xanax, and is said to barely drink. Luckily for us, Isaiah got his head right in time for The Sun’s Tirade.

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

Master P

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

Last, the man who once made legions of fans say “UGH” had some cautionary words for the current generation, especially with regards to the rampant drug use that seems to have taken hold of the culture. In an interview with The Breakfast Club, P makes a powerful statement, saying “the real people don’t realize what kill us as African Americans, as entertainers...is drugs. Everybody that you know that went at a young age, go check it, it’s all drugs.”

He goes on to specify that the idea of hustle and hard work is killed by a desire to get high. “The syrup is killing the whole generation,” says P. Suffice it to say, The Ice Cream Man has had a long, lucrative career, and has seen many artists affected by the syrup. The point P raises is an interesting one, especially now, when Artists are essentially blowing up by rapping about, and actively participating in drug use.  The question is, will these lean fiends and Xanax heads be able to sustain a career, or will they inevitably face the same risks that Isaiah Rashad did?

5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax
5 Rappers Who Have Spoken Out Against Lean & Xanax

Despite the constant perception of having a clean, wholesome image, there was once a time when Chance struggled with a Xanax addiction. In a profile with GQ, Chance spoke about the period after dropping Acid Rap and moving into a Los Angeles mansion with James Blake. There, the rapper describes having been “Xanned out every fucking day,” which led to a strong feeling of stagnation:

“I was just fucking tweaking. I was a Xan-zombie, fucking not doing anything productive and just going through relationship after relationship after relationship. Mind you, this is six months. So think about, like, how could you even do that?””

After some words of encouragement from his father and family, Chance dedicated himself to getting clean and moving back to Chicago.  Luckily, Chano managed to get his mind right in six months, and if his recent contributions to the community are any indication, seems intent on doing some good beyond the scope of his music.

About The Author
<b>Feature Editor</b> <!--BR--> Mitch Findlay is a writer and hip-hop journalist based in Montreal. Resident old head by default. Enjoys writing Original Content about music, albums, lyrics, and rap history. His favorite memories include interviewing J.I.D and EarthGang at the "Revenge Of The Dreamers 3" studio sessions in Atlanta and receiving a phone call from Dr. Dre. In his spare time he makes horror movies.