Is there about to be a shift away from drugs in hip hop?
References to drugs in rap could be traced back to its inception, but they were prevalent in the rap coming out of the South in the 90s. Memphis' Three 6 Mafia in particular was known for discussing sizzurp in their songs, as they did in their 2000 hit, "Sippin On Some Syrup". After Three 6 Mafia disbanded and Juicy J pursued a solo career, drugs still remained a central theme in his music. "Stay trippy, mane" became a slogan of his.
Despite this history, Juicy J is now denouncing his involvement in promoting drug culture in hip hop. "If I inspired anybody to do drugs I apologize," he tweeted on Saturday. This embracing of responsibility could be seen as a change of perspective for Juicy J, because after Pimp C passed away, he told HipHopDX, “Whatever a person wanna do, man, they do they thing and we do our thing.”
This apology comes in the wake of Juice WRLD's death, which is suspected to have been drug-related. Vic Mensa recently claimed that "rap is much to blame" for Juice's death, echoing a common concern that there's a dangerous glorification of drugs - specifically lean and opioids - within the hip hop community. Others argue that the drugs are often not glorified, but mentioned as a result of artists' struggles with addiction.