In the wake of Lil Peep’s untimely death due to an apparent overdose on Xanax, a number of artists are speaking up about the talk of drug abuse in lyrics. Vic Mensa is the latest artist to criticize rap’s latest obsession, and he’s pointing fingers, too. In a new interview with Billboard, the Chicago native criticized Future and other rappers for fueling the epidemic of “drug rap” and substance abuse in the music industry.
While Vic admitted that he has also discussed the use of drugs like Xanax in his music, he said he no longer does due to the negative influence it has on the younger generation. “To be honest, it’s like, on one hand I almost don’t even feel that I have a right to chastise anybody because I’ve f*cking done it. I’ve rapped about Xanax. I regret it,” he told Billboard. “I don’t rap about it anymore, but I have some lines about taking Xanax. I just think that we’re in such a dangerous place now because it’s been normalized and the drug abuse has been reduced to like a marketing tactic.”
He continued by using Future as an example of rappers who recklessly talk about popping pills. “You got Future talking about ‘I just rap about drugs because I know that’s what sells, that’s what people want to hear,’ while people are overdosing left and right,” he added. “It’s really representative of the state of the nation, but it’s also horribly irresponsible because you got kids that idolize these people and will do anything they do. They’re being misled but their f**king heroes and getting addicted to Xans or Percocet’s and dying from them.”
While Vic Mensa thinks artists should be leaders in their communities, other artists don’t think people should be so quick to judge those who talk about drug use. Earlier this month, 21 Savage posted a message on Instagram suggesting that rap has always included explicit content as a reflection of what is going on in the world. “They say we make drug user music like making drug selling music is better,” 21 wrote. “Don’t use us as the scape goat! Our music is a reflection of what’s going on in our community and all we doing is using our talent to escape that community.”
(Photo from left: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TIDAL, Paras Griffin/Getty Images)