Lil Wayne, Too Short, and other hip hop artists often rap about drug use but rarely talk about rehab or recovery, notes CNN. “Sizzurp,” the promethazine and codeine concoction that supposedly sent Lil Wayne to the hospital last week, has appeared in Lil Wayne’s lyrics from time to time, and Lil Wayne has also openly discussed his drug use. He told GQ Magazine he wishes he could be back on narcotics: “’How does it feel to be sober?’ … What do you want me to say? ‘It feels great’? No.” Snoop Dogg and Joe Budden have also been open about their drug use. After a relapse, Budden told Combat Jack radio show, “My two demons are real simple, drugs and depression. They go hand in hand with one another.”
While it’s positive for artists to openly discuss mental health issues, some who work in the field see a bias against recovery. Journalist and San Francisco State adjunct professor Davey D tells CNN that rapping about drugs in music gives artists a certain allure and mystique: “The artists themselves, sure they should take some responsibility, but if they actually have a substance abuse problem, whether they are a drinker or whether they are someone using mind altering substances…then they actually have a disease that needs to be cured, and I don’t know if you suddenly do that on your own.” Harold Owens, the senior director for MusiCares Musicians Assistance Program, says there’s a stigma to coming clean and there may be sober artists who “just don’t talk about it.”
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