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In a recent editorial piece for The Huffington Post titled “Licensed to Pill,” DJ/producer and Fool’s Gold Records co-founder A-Trak addressed the growing use of “molly” and other psychedelic drugs in hip-hop.
A-Trak began the editorial with a honest declaration: “I don’t know anything about drugs. Never tried them. Yet as I write this, I am trying to sign a group with a song called ‘Bath Salts’ and an album titled ‘D.R.U.G.S.'”
A-Trak mentions Juicy J, Danny Brown, Lil Wayne, Chance the Rapper and Lil B as rappers who often refer to Molly, Xanax and cough syrup. He wrote, “the closer I get drawn into it, the more I tend to wonder whether I am just enjoying this music from a safe arm’s length as I silently endorse it? Is there any hypocrisy in the fact that I, clearly not an advocate of drug use, made a track with Juicy J and Danny called ‘Piss Test’?”
“I believe hip-hop has entered its psychedelic age.”
He also compared today’s hip-hop with previous generations, “Rap went from glorifying selling hard drugs to glamorizing their effects. And beneath the surface there may be a profound lack of understanding of these substances.”
A-Trak concluded the well-articulated piece by alluding to his friend DJ AM’s overdose and writing, “There needs to be more open dialogue about this. It won’t stop us from enjoying the music.” He mentions that other artists have recently spoken out such as Kendrick Lamar who ends his “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video with a coffin lowered into the ground and “Death To Molly” written above it.
Whether you agree with him or not, you gotta give A-Trak credit for sticking his neck out like this. It’s not exactly “cool” to question the effects of drugs in a culture and scene that’s so intertwined with them.
Read his full article here.