We all have vices. But, there are definitely those of us who choose to push the limits with their drug of choice way further than most. Then again, there are also certain people who are born with addictive personalities and unable to control the urge for their next fix. In music, these poisonous personalities often fuel the content of hit songs and come to define our favorite artists.
To highlight the MCs who’ve been daring enough to share their own experiences with despair, we’ve put together this extremely versatile list of 15 rap songs about the various types of addiction absorbing those around us. Feel free to share with anyone you feel could benefit from hearing some unbiased advice.
1. UGK Feat. 3-2 - “Stoned Junkee”
When you grow up in a blue-collar industrial city like Port Arthur, seeing the fiends crawling your streets is an everyday occurrence. In this slow-burning and extremely graphic cut from UGK’s Super Tight LP, Pimp and Bun spit from the perspectives of various forms of junkies.
2. Macklemore - “Otherside”
One of the songs that put Seattle’s newest superstar on the map, this somber Red Hot Chili Peppers interpolation found Mack rapping how addictions can unconsciously overtake almost anyone’s aspirations - including his own, as he opens up about unprescribed lean fix that almost halted his stardom before it even hit.
3. Afroman - “Because I Got High”
There’s a common misconception that says all stoners are lazy. However, despite the few that actually have goals and don’t rely on their remote for decision making, many dope doers definitely smoke themselves stupid. This singalong classic from Palmdale’s funkiest one-hit wonder speaks to those who let their sack subdue their duty in life.
4. Biz Markie - “Things Get A Little Easier”
Whether you’re young or whether you’re old, you can probably relate to this jazzy trio of tales from Biz’ biggest album The Biz Never Sleeps, which speaks on how everyone from the buyer to the pusher can become a fiend.
5. Haystak - “My First Day”
Never one to refrain from personal content in his rhymes, Stak Mack used this upbeat, guitar-laden stand-out from his Portrait Of A White Boy album to tell a tale of struggling with and overcoming heroin abuse.
6. Grandmaster Flash Feat. Melle Mel - “White Lines”
Carried by a disco bass-line and educated raps, this funky ode to the problems associated with that white girl was extremely timely during the '80s and rather ironically became an extremely big hit for the ultimate Hip-Hop OG. Freebase!
7. Danny Brown - “Nosebleeds”
After getting his own inhibitions out the way on his two-faced XXX album, Fools Gold's best rapper spit this sinister short story about an unsuspecting female dope fiend, who lets her dirty little secrets unravel the rest her life. Talk about detail.
8. Tech N9ne - “T9X”
If you’ve ever wondered how the face of Strange Music can continually deliver such imaginative content, give this Absolute Power stand-out a spin. Crawling with creepy production and engineering ingenuity, this spacey story track takes listeners on a lethargic stroll through a night in Tech’s world, which finds him professing his love for just about every drug ever concocted.
9. Jay-Z - “I Know”
For this creative, Pharrell-produced single from his underrated American Gangster LP, Jigga spoke from the perspective of addiction itself, trying to get his inhabitants to give into his comforting allure.
10. Lil Wayne - “I Feel Like Dying”
Quite possibly one of Weezy’s most unorthodox songs, this thumping cut from his Drought Is Over Pt.2: Carter 3 sessions finds Baby’s outspoken son speaking on how drugs hold him together and in turn, spitting some of the most ingenious metaphors you’ve ever heard.
11. Mobb Deep Feat. Q-Tip - “Drink Away The Pain (Situations)”
Despite barely being old enough to purchase booze legally when The Infamous dropped in 1995, Havoc and P used this jazzy album cut to deliver a slick concept about how their favorite ladies come in bottle form and give them the shakes after leaving. Too bad Q-Tip didn’t get the vibe though, because his verse is about fashion and not alcohol. Gah well.
12. Eminem - “Deja Vu”
After an unprecedented hiatus from the industry he owned only a few years prior, Slim Shady returned to the scene in 2009 with his highly debated concept album Relapse. Amidst all the drug-induced bar binges, this Dr. Dre-produced stand-out found Marshall dropping the schtick for a moment and giving an intimate glimpse inside his battle with prescription pills.
13. 50 Cent - “Baltimore Love Thing”
Another song from the POV of poison, this potent single from 50’s sophomore Massacre finds the G-Unit chief spitting as heroin and getting fiery when his inhabitants try to shake free.
14. Lil Wyte Feat. Lord Infamous & Crunchy Black - “Oxy Cotton”
Lacing a beat that could very easily serve as the devil’s theme music, Lil Wyte the livewire let loose on this Doubt Me Now standout, speaking on how his pill addiction basically fuels his daily routine and providing obscene numbers to back up his claims. For better or worse, this is definitely one of this Hypnotized Mind rapper’s career highlights.
15. De La Soul - “My Brother’s A Basehead”
For this key album cut from their De La Soul Is Dead classic, Pos used a playful beat to put his brother on blast for being a crack addict, putting an easygoing spin on a rather serious topic as only De La could.