Five-time world DJ champion and record producer A-Trak wrote an open letter on the Huffington Post about the effects of drug culture on hip-hop music today. He opens with a confession that he has never used drugs, but living at the center of the hip-hop world, he has seen how the music has changed because of it.
He talks a great deal about how the current hip-hop scene is entering an era where drug references and usage are different than what they have been in the past, saying "Rap went from glorifying selling hard drugs to glamorizing their effects." He also says:
I believe hip-hop has entered its psychedelic age. Turn on the radio: Molly, Xanax and cough syrup references are ubiquitous. One of the most acclaimed new mixtapes out is matter-of-factly titled Acid Rap.
However, he also wonders about the hypocrisy of not being a drug user himself, while working openly working with and promoting artists who rap about drug use, glorify it, and even do interviews while on drugs. He also wonders if the glorification of drugs in the songs is leaving out all the negative effects of taking huge amounts of pills. He mentions Lil' Wayne's seizures and the death of Pimp C as passed-over stories of drug abuse.
He also points out that some rappers are starting to speak out against drug use, one of the most prominent being Kendrick Lamar's video for "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe," which features joyous people around a coffin in a field, with the simple message at the end "Death to Molly."
Remember to read the rest of A-Trak's open letter to see his point of view on the state of hip-hop today and where it's headed.