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The Effects and Influence of Drugs in Hip Hop

The Effects and Influence of Drugs in Hip Hop

The Effects and Influence of Drugs in Hip Hop

In the past couple of years, some people could say that drugs are glorified in the Hip Hop scene. With some rappers like Lil Xan, Lil Pump, Future, and more are constantly referencing drugs in many forms. With Lil Xan blatantly referencing the prescription drug, Xanax. Lil Xan, Lil Pump and Future are constantly referencing drugs in their songs. Those rappers are not the only ones that frequently reference drugs in their songs. I am only scratching the surface of the effects and influence of drugs in hip hop. 

Trend of Weed and Cocaine references from 1990-2015

Trend of Weed and Cocaine references from 1990-2015

Throughout the years, drugs are constantly referenced in hip hop. Even to the point to where they seem glorified and are popularized by rappers. For example, in the 1990’s, after Cypress Hill’s debut album, Black Sunday and the release of Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” album, the popularity of Marijuana references in hip hop grew extremely, even to the point of up to 45 percent of all hip hop tracks featuring references to drugs in the mid-90’s. References to other drugs such as Lean, Cocaine, Crack, Ecstasy, and Molly rose steadily throughout the 2000’s. Many reasons for the increase in Lean references  can be attributed to Lil Wayne, and his struggle with Lean.

Today, it seems like prescription drugs are very mainstream in hip hop, with many rappers like Eminem, Young Thug, Future, and 2 Chainz referencing them in their music. Out of the many prescription drugs that are referenced, it seems like Xanax is the most popular. With many of today’s rappers constantly referencing Xanax and bragging about how many they can take a day, the drug is being extremely glorified. This brings me to my point. Drugs (mainly Xanax) are being extremely glorified today and their use should be taken more seriously.

Trend of references of drugs in a rap lyric from 1990-2015

Trend of references of drugs in a rap lyric from 1990-2015

How could drugs possibly be glorified in hip hop?  Well, according to research from, the reference of prescription drugs in hip hop are slowly growing since the early 2000’s. And, with many of rappers today tweeting, videotaping, and rapping about them doing drugs. It could easily influence young adults to get their hands on the drugs they are talking about to see what’s so awesome about these drugs.

Even though it may look like that all rap music is bad and glorifies all drugs, there have been many instances of rappers showing the huge consequences of drug use.

Lil Peep Makes a Difference

Lil Peep message to fans

Lil Peep’s final Instagram post

One instance could be Lil Peep, who recently died from Xanax overdose. Before this overdose, he frequently posted on Instagram and Twitter on how he was depressed and couldn’t stop taking drugs. He even mentioned in interviews that he has almost died from overdosing on Xanax many times. This could be a way of discouraging people, (his fans) of taking drugs. Another very important post on Instagram that he had was saying goodbye.

The same day he posted the picture, he tragically overdosed and died from Xanax. This shows people that Xanax is absolutely, under no circumstances, is something to be taken lightly. It shouldn’t be rapped and talked about like how it is.

Drug Use Denounced

Aside from Lil Peep’s death, Xanax has been denounced by many rappers. Travis Scott, Smoke Purpp,

lil pump swears off xanax

Lil Pump swears off Xanax

and even Lil Pump. Lil Pump tweeted and posted on how he is done with Xanax.

Think about the significance of this. Lil Pump, the rapper who constantly talked about Xanax and made it the basis of some of his songs, is actually done with it! So, Xanax references could potentially be over with in hip hop. However, these rappers are only the surface of the issue, with many more rappers still mentioning the drug. Xanax might be over, but what drug could take it’s place?

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