Hip Hop & Opioid Use

Previously we have seen opioid use enter the mainstream music scene, specifically with the death of Kurt Cobain. More recently with the deaths of Lil Peep, Prince, Mac Millar & Juice Wrld. The ladder died of Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, and the lives of Lil Peep, Prince & Mac Millar being taken by accidental deaths of Fentanyl. We can ask why the rise of drug use; specifically synthetic opioids. This is a result of the banning of OxyContin and the damnation of Perdue Pharma Co. and their massive push that OxyContin is not addictive. This left a massive strain in people looking for alternatives and a massive void to be filled, thus the flood of Fentanyl; a cheap synthetic opioid.

In a lot of the musicians cases they had massive amounts of pressure to fill but also left a eerie narrative in their death. Lil Peep referenced his death many times; for example in the songs “Witchblades” Lil Peep sings “When I die, bury me with all my ice on” and more nods to him dying can be found in many of his last Instagram posts.

With the passing of Juice Wrld; an artist who I’ve been blessed with the chance to see live. I sang with him these lyrics, “What’s the 27 club? We ain’t making past 21” a nod to Kurt Cobain’s heroin overdose/suicide – and then to die a week after his 21st birthday. In an unreleased song by Juice; No good he makes many references to his addictions in his lyrics “One thing you need to know about me is the Rockstar life turned me to a junkie. Another thing you need to know about me is I’m full of addictions, this is just vindictive.”, “I grew up on all types, I’m talkin’ ‘bout drugs, the weed and the pills”, ” Who am I to lie about my life? I know the truth hurts, Who am I to say that this ain’t one of my best verses?” all of these lyrics tell us he knew the struggles he faced, but didn’t know how to deal with them; thus him feeling trapped and eventually causing his death. We need to address these issues in many forms as it isn’t the result of one problem or cause. If we don’t, we will lose many more, & having it infiltrate the mainstream tells you this is and has been a problem people have faced for many years and will for many more unless major change is made.


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