op-ed: is substance abuse lyrics in hip hop culture really a cover up for depression?

September 19, 2016

In today’s hip hop culture we hear a lot about drug use. You won’t be surprised to hear lyrics about someone sipping on lean or taking molly, Xanax, or even cocaine to stay high all the time. Have you ever wondered why some hip-hop songs with drug influenced lyrics are so popular? Or, why do so many people in this younger generation relate and do many drugs themselves?

One of my favorite hip-hop songs to date “03 Adolescence” by J. Cole has a verse that really makes you think about this topic. In my opinion it sheds light on why some people in hip hop culture lean so much on drug use.

By Jasmine Pierre, AFROPUNK contributor

Here is the verse seen below:
“Things change, rearrange, or so do I. It ain’t always for the better dawg, I can’t lie. I get high cause the lows can be so cold. I might bend a little bit but I don’t fold. One time for my mind and two for yours. I got food for your thoughts to sooth your soul. If you see my tears fall just let me be…Move along, nothing to see.”

In those lyrics you don’t just hear about drug use but, you also hear an explanation behind it. You hear someone who is in so much pain but, they don’t know how to talk about it with someone else. Instead of talking about their mental anguish they get high. When you don’t know how to relieve pain you may try almost anything to escape it for awhile. As long as you keep doing what’s temporary you won’t have to think so much about the root of the issue.

Depression is a very hard illness to deal with. Many people will not understand the issues going on in your mind. When you feel no one gets it you may figure, “I might as well try to fix this pain on my own.”

However trying to fix your pain in this way will only make it worse in the future. Using drugs to mask the pain may make depression go away temporarily but, it will never solve the deeper roots of the issue. This is how people end up drug overdosing.

Facing the pain head on may be really hard but, in the long run this is what really needs to be done. The glorification of drug related lyrics are nothing but a mask that hides the darkness, frustration, pain, and fears you’re trying to escape from. Do not over indulge or overdose in the process of your depression. Fight for your mental well being and for your life. The drugs aren’t killing the pain but they can very well kill you.

Addiction Recovery Now‎ (844) 760-1887
*Jasmin Pierre is a 27-year-old mental health activist and author of the new self help book “A Fight Worth Finishing”. She is from New Orleans, Louisiana. Jasmin is constantly fighting for the rights of those suffering from major depressive disorder. She inspires to become a life coach and continue writing to encourage others to never give up.

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