In the wake of Juice WRLD’s death, hip-hop has begun to re-evaluate its relationship with heavy drugs. Although an autopsy is still required to determine the official cause of death, many rappers have already spoken out about rap’s supposed fascination with opiates. Joyner Lucas pointed the blame at rappers who “made drugs cool” in a tweet yesterday and now, Juice’s peer and friend Trippie Redd has issued a challenge to his colleagues in the so-called “emo rap” scene via Instagram Live.
Trippie Redd says if it isn’t weed he doesn’t want it anymore 🤷🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/rAVYkiLoK3
— Rap All-Stars 🏆 (@RapAllStars) December 10, 2019
“We ain’t doing it no more, period,” he says directly into the camera. “If it ain’t weed, we ain’t doing it more.” Appropriately, he takes a beat to take a pull from a blunt before continuing, “When I say ‘we,’ I mean us as a whole, us as a group — the whole emo music artists. No drugs.” Trippie’s statement eerily mirrors Juice’s own imperative to get clean earlier this year when he promised “Ima leave that sh*t alone 4 good watch me” on Twitter. Juice also admitted earlier this year that he first tried the drug lean — codeine cough syrup in Sprite soda — in 6th grade after being inspired to do so by Future.
Trippie’s challenge is admirable because rappers do set an example as role models for younger kids like Juice when he “broke Future’s heart,” but it’s also important to remember that there are many other factors in addiction besides emulating artists. Rap’s reputation for drug use is slightly exaggerated as well — music, as ever, is a reflection of life where it’s made, meaning America has a lot of work to do to tackle the opiate epidemic that is costing the lives of far more people than our favorite rappers.