Not too long ago, rapper Lil Peep, known as Gustav Ahr, died due to an overdose of Fentanyl laced Xanax. Lil Peep was seen as a genre-bender, mixing in rap with elements of emo-pop music. This type of music consisted both elements, including his own additions of a a hazy lifestyle filled with sex, drugs, and depression. After his death, many people started to realize the impact of rap culture and how it exploits drug addiction and abuse, along with depression.
Talking about drugs and sex isn’t new when it comes to the rap game. Lil Pump is notorious for taking Xanax and Lean (Codeine) like it’s water. Lil Wayne, another famous American rapper, also suffered from an addiction with Lean which resulted in multiple epileptic seizures. Both have mentioned these drugs throughout their albums, but it is time to realize the repercussions of this lifestyle especially when it comes to having an impressionable fanbase.
The glamorization of drugs isn’t new, and it’s only increasing with the continuous evolution in rap music. Based on the 2008 study by Sarah Yang, a former specialist of media communications at Berkeley, there had been a reported increase of drug-related songs of 45% from 9% from a duration of 1979-1984 to 1990’s. Rap is reaching a younger audience as time goes on. This becomes worrisome when younger people idolize rappers and raises red flags as there is a link between reaching Billboard 100 and drugs being a central theme.
Rap music now serves as a staple of the current generation’s lives for keeping up with trends. Clout goggles, shoes, slang. With the new wave of rap music and experimental/hard drugs that’s taking over today’s society, we need to question ourselves seriously. Life is hard and you need an escape, and the feeling of your body shutting down with a pill seems like a miracle. But is this really a solution when the symptoms can end in death?
Lil Peep’s death is truly horrible, and he didn’t deserve to die due to someone lacing his drugs with Fentanyl. His music was a cry for help from his depression and addiction to drugs, but no one took him seriously due to drugs being the norm in the rap game. Rap culture is exploitative when it comes to drugs, and the exploitation of drugs for fame is tolling.
I am all for people treating their bodies how they wish, but this becomes a societal problem when we start playing around with dangerous addictions. We need to pay more attention to rap culture, and what society is normalizing.
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