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How Drug Culture is Killing Hip Hop and Its Artists

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

Once glorified and now being denounced, Hip Hop artists are calling for their fans and fellow artists to stay away from the hard stuff. Yes, drugs. We are now at a point where we cannot lose any more artists due to substance abuse, and with the recent death of Juice Wrld, hip hop artists are now urging us to stop with the drugs.

We have lost so many talented artists due to drugs in the past few years. The unfortunate death of Mac Miller transpired this whole conversation about drug usage in the hip hop community now, and with the recent death of Juice Wrld, artists have really been pushing for fellow artists and fans to stay away from drugs. 

Mac Miller passed in September 2018 from an accidental drug overdose. There was fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol in his system and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Mac struggled with addiction and did slip up a few times when attempting sobriety. He was very open about being dependent on lean (promethazine and codeine) or “sizzurp” which is a recreation drug created by combining prescription-grade cough syrup with a soft drink and/or candy. So many people were shocked about his death and to me, I think his death is what really ignited this HUGE conversation that artists are having now. 


Mac Miller Celebration of Life Concert.

Source: People Magazine


Last November, very well known rapper ‘Juice Wrld’ known for his popular music such as ‘Lucid Dreams,’ passed away from substance abuse. In the attempt to not get caught by the police for having drugs on him, he decided to swallow a handful of Percocets. Percocets are Oxycodone and Acetaminophen, usually used to treat pain, but when abused can become very addictive, and if taken in high doses can cause death. Juice Wrld ended up passing away due to a seizure he had in an airport shortly after swallowing those pills. A lot of artists feel as if this could’ve been avoided if drugs weren’t in the picture, and they are very correct. In Juice Wrld’s song ‘Legends’ which was a tribute to Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, who passed, he talks about how some artists are dying young and not even making it past 21, it’s so sad to see such a young soul pass just five days after his own 21st birthday. 

Source: Juice Wrld’s Instagram


Personally, I love hip-hop and I love the artists that bring these amazing sounds to my headphones when I’m walking to class. The conversation about drugs among these artists is something that we really need to talk about because it’s not okay for someone to lose their life over substance abuse when it could’ve been avoided. These artists don’t just MAKE music, they’re actual humans going through everyday things, but their music speaks to people. I know personally that Mac Miller’s music touched so many of my friends, and XXXTentacion’s music helped a lot of people that I know who were depressed just get their feelings out. It hurts to see an artist you love to go, especially in a way that could’ve been avoided. So, I am more than happy that artists are coming together to talk about this issue, and hopefully, as a community, they can come to terms that maybe the hard drugs aren’t the way to go. 

I’m actually glad that the Hip-Hop community is trying to have this conversation. When you think about it, Hip-Hop influences a LOT of our culture and is such a vital genre of music in society today. If any group of artists was to take a stand on this, the hip-hop artists are definitely the conversation starters. 



Sandra is a junior in the BS/MS Communications program at Drexel University. She is studying Public Relations and Marketing. She plans to work within the sports industry either behind the scenes, or in front of the camera. She loves modeling, content creating, relaxing with a good face mask, and of course arguing over sports with the ENTIRE family. She's your go to girl for any sporting event, and will always keep you updates with what's going on in the sports world! She loves to write and is not afraid to speak her knowledge and opinions. Who gon check her? No one.
Her Campus Drexel contributor.