Lil Peep is the latest victim of the rap game and its constant glorifying of drugs, sex, and violence.
By Harrison McQuinn, Sports Editor
“Drop top, smoking thrax, looking at the stars. Getting high, taking bars ’til we on mars,” are some of the lyrics one can find in the late Lil Peep’s songs.
Bars in this case refer to Xanax, a prescribed benzodiazepine which is used to treat anxiety disorders, and the likely cause of Peep’s overdose in November. Some may believe the young rapper’s death is ironic, but in reality should be expected based on hip-hop’s choice to praise drugs.
While Peep’s death is tragic, it brings light to the rap game which should be held accountable for the content it pushes. There were over ten songs that extol drugs in the billboard Hot 100 last week, meaning they are getting countless plays on radio stations. Post Malone’s “Rockstar” has topped the charts for seven-straight weeks.
“I’ve been fuckin’ hoes and poppin’ pillies. Man, I feel just like a rockstar,” sings Malone in the billboard hit.
In 2014, 21.5 million Americans struggled with a substance addiction according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. With over six percent of the United States battling addiction, hip-hop needs to take some responsibility for its role in proliferating the glamor of drugs.
There are several examples of positive, or at least neutral, themes being used for rap songs such as Logic’s anthem for suicide help “1-800-273-8255” and Schoolboy Q’s “Prescription/Oxymoron.” Unfortunately, these instances are the exception not the rule.
Fans of Peep have taken to Twitter saying that the rapper did not overdose from a copious amount of xanax, but instead was given a laced dose. The simple response is if he avoided the drug outside being prescribed by a licensed physician, he would not have found himself in such a dire circumstance.
Drug addiction is an epidemic across the world and hip-hop is becoming an increasingly popular genre of music. Rappers need to stop downplaying their role in the matter and reconsider their lyrics next time they hit the studio.
“Us as rappers underestimate the power and the effects that we have on these kids,” commented Macklemore in his 2009 hit “Otherside” where he goes on to say, “there’s no way to glorify this pavement. Syrup, Percocet, and an eighth a day will leave you broke, depressed, and emotionally vacant.”