By now, most have heard the news that former NBA star, Lamar Odom, has been hospitalized after being found unconscious from a possible drug overdose in Nevada. The basketball player is reportedly in a coma at a Las Vegas hospital, where authorities say he is “fighting for his life.” Surrounded by tons of family and friends, including his still legal wife, Khloe Kardashian, everyone is keeping him in their prayers. While the reports of Odom’s incident are certainly shocking to most, it has brought up an important conversation about addiction, and just how it effects people’s every day lives, rather than just simply when someone overdoses.
Reports have said that Lamar was struggling with a drug addiction for years now, and was one of the alleged factors that led to his marriage’s demise. While his appearances seemed more normal than to be that of a stereotypical drug abuser, that is one of the first areas of concern that many in the hip hop community have faced. For years, rappers have hid their addictions to lean, codeine, and even cocaine, while others have put it out on the fore-front, to the pleasure of fans’ within their hit music.
Read more on the addiction in hip hop conversation on the following page.
With the tragic deaths of Pimp C and A$AP Yams, who all died from alleged overdoses, hip hop has been in almost an odd space when it comes to drug consumption. It’s become a pattern that many rappers are not looked at with much concern for their drug abuse until they are in a state of near hospitalization, or even death. Lil Wayne is a prime example of this. Back in 2008, the rapper made his over-consumption of codeine, a strong, prescribed cough syrup, known within his music, and in interviews. While some expressed their concerns, tons of fans encouraged his use, being that he was producing more and more hit records. If you recall, in 2013, the rapper suffered multiple seizures, with news outlets hearing talks of death being a possibility. Although his use of codeine may not have been the sole factor, it has certainly been one of the most essential symptoms resulting from drug abuse in hip hop.
As of right now, many hip hop fans would agree that Future is seeing some of the most success in the genre with his multiple releases this year. From releasing his highly-selling Dirty Sprite 2 album, to just months later dropping his Drake collaboration album, What A Time To Be Alive, many see the rapper as at the top of his game. While he’s seeing huge numbers, and raking in tons of appearances, while piling onto his increasing fanbase, his lyrics actually tell a deeper story. Future is known for his love for lean, and expresses it heavily on his tracks. Codeine is even associated with most of his song’s titles that are being replayed over and over at clubs, parties, and in the streets. Despite his clear-cut addiction and possible drug problem, the #FutureHive is eating up every bit of any potential crisis Future is going through. As a culture, the concerns need to be taken more seriously, especially in the light of Lamar Odom’s tragic story. Does hip hop have a serious drug problem?
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