We went from rapping about selling drugs to survive, to rapping about abusing the drugs you’re selling

“Percocets, molly, Percocets, Percocets, molly, Percocets,” are the opening lines to Junkie Rap’s most honorable front man, Future’s new song “Mask Off.” I think “Junkie Rap” is the perfect name to describe the ever-increasing influence of dangerous drug use filled rap lyrics as a sub-genre of Hip-Hop. It seems like nowadays the aspiration to be a “trapper” goes hand in hand with also being a junkie. I remember growing up and not idolizing drug dealers, but I did see them with the nice cars and the beautiful woman and I aspired to acquire those things some day albeit through legal means. NEVER once did I ever see a “crack head” and think to myself, “now that is a life of distinction and honor!” NEVER once did I see a “dope fiend” and say to myself, “that looks soo cool nodding off and right before I almost fall flat on my face I’ll pop back up in the nick of time!” I never seen functioning heroin addicts or crack addicts either for that matter. I think the trend of young Black and Brown bodies taking powerful over the counter synthetic heroin came right about the time when the rap landscape was changing.

In the words of the illustrious Mr. West “the people can’t stand it they want something new.” And with that desire, no longer was the “D Boy” the sole focus and the dominant voice/ master narrative that became the flagship for the typical Hip-Hop artist. The decline of “Gangsta Rap” ushered in the new wave of Hip-Hop artists. The poster boy for this change is none other than Kanye West. With Kanye’s ascension to the top of the rap game he gave other nontraditional rappers a lane and a confidence to be who they are. Since then, we the listening audience were introduced to the likes of Drake, Kid Cudi, OddFuture etc. Fast forward a few years and we are introduced to the double cup sipping, swagged out Trap Rapper Future.

The double cups were filled allegedly with promethazine codeine, which is just liquid synthetic heroin and Sprit soda. Future was by no means the first to rap about the drug known as “lean” or “sizzurp” which derives from cough syrup, we can thank another Junkie Rappers from the South like Paul Wall and Lil Wayne for that. Future didn’t even popularize”Molly,” because we have Junkie Rap young OG Trinidad James for that with his now infamous line “popped a Molly I’m sweating!” But none popularized it and made it cool or acceptable as Future has. The other Junkie Rappers I mentioned have all come under fire or succumb to health issues due to their illicit drug use, but Future seems to be riding high (pun intended) from his blatant drug use and the success of him rapping about these exploits.

I remember when Snopp Dogg’s song “Gin and Juice” first hit the scene with the iconic video of him riding through the Southern California streets on his homeboy’s handlebars. I remember the chorus “Rolling down the street smoking indo sipping on gin and juice” were lyrics that didn’t get censored at first until radio stations and other media outlets caught on to “indo” which was a colloquialism for a strain of Marijuana. Fast-forward 24 years to 2017 and the airwaves freely play “Percocets, molly, Percocets, Percocets, molly, Percocets” with not even an ounce of censorship like its ok to abuse prescription drugs? It’s 2017 and the reign of Junkie Rap is upon us! 

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Akinseye Kifo-Wastani says:

    Thank you for your sober minded perspective. Music is culture. And the purpose of culture is to move the people in a particular direction. This junkie culture rap music is just funneling black and brown youth into the grave.
    I’ve heard of functioning crack heads. Some judges and lawyers actually function well on it. But they are not the majority. They are the few. This junkie rap (accurate description) is destroying life.
    I’ve heard people saying its your choice if u take drugs, but I do believe in the power of influence. And kids are being influenced to use drugs by unconscious other kids who just want to have fun and be in the spot light. I wish there were a way to get the conscious hip hop artists to respond to each silly idiotic song while making me dance.


    1. Keevin Brown says:

      Thank you for your comment! I agree with you in how the music is going to have some influence on Black and Brown youth and their illicit drug use. It’s sad to say, but if given the choice between the two evils I’d rather be the dealer than the abuser.


  2. Man, even if you go as far back as 3-6 Mafia, they put lean on the map with their song, “Sippin on some Syrup.” And then, at least in a west coast context, Mac Dre put ecstasy on the map.


    1. Keevin Brown says:

      I agree bro! It’s so sad that illicit drugs are the hallmark of these talented ghetto poets!


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