Kendrick Lamar Molly Rap: In Hip Hop, Does Saying No to Drugs Actually Work?
Although it might seem that Molly is the new Mary, a “new” delight that creeps into the rhymes of Mac Miller, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, and Wale (and that’s only naming a few — I see you Juicy J), there are some hip-hop heavyweights and pop culture forces against the not-as-new-as-you'd-think drug.
A primer for those who aren’t familiar, molly is known as “pure,” a powdered or crystallized form of MDMA — the chemical popularized by its use in ecstasy. Both a stimulant and a psychedelic, the Schedule 1 illegal substance has been popularized over the last decade — and 17 states have legalized it for medical use which makes many in the millennial generation consider it among the ranks of marijuana as one of the safer drugs to consume, according to a CNN report.
But some in the spotlight are using that celebrity to come out against the drug.
"Sometimes you have the trends that's not that cool," Kendrick Lamar told MTV in a sit down last month. "You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don't really have that lifestyle, and then it gives off the wrong thing." Lamar pointed to the trend “watering down” current hip-hop and becoming “corny” after a while.
Kendrick followed up these words while stating clearly his distaste for the molly trend in his new video for “B---h, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” one of the hits off his stellar latest record good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Not everyone is taking such a hard line, however.
50 Cent talked with HuffPost Entertainment about the trend and said, "When I write those things, about the lifestyle, I'm going to inject things that are around that apply to me. I'm not even aware of it at the actual point, it becomes clear to me afterwards. And it's a joke to me — 'popped a molly I'm sweating, woo!' It was something that you go, 'Oh, OK.' It was just a good line."
But Lil Wayne — one of the many artists who glorifies the use of illicit controlled substances — suffered from seizures that some alleged were linked to his recreational drugs use, of which molly is a part as well as marijuana and codeine cough syrup drinks known as sizzurp or purple drank.
DJ & Producer A-Trak wrote in the Huffington Post op-ed License to Pill that he believes hip hop has entered its psychedelic age and called out the hush nature of what caused Weezy’s hospital stay. "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.' Danny Brown, my record label's marquee artist, calls himself the Adderall Admiral, openly does interviews high on Molly and raps, 'it's a miracle I'm living.' I happen to think he is one of the most enthralling artists out. How do I reconcile my respect for Danny and the fact that so many of his wildly creative and entertaining songs revolve around drug usage?"
The problem that A-Trak and Lamar hit on is that even if we condemn the actions or the drug use, the endorsement of the action remains as we sing along to Kanye’s wicked lyricism in “Mercy” with “something ‘bout Mary, she gone off that Molly” or Tyga’s “Molly” with “I show up to that party like where the f--k that molly.” A-Trak takes the argument a step further and notes many of the rappers whose music we enjoy today used the drug game hustle to raise up out of their circumstances and make enough paper to struggle through those beginning mix tapes, making them the powerhouse emcees they are now.
Although now increasingly part of the mainstream, many point to the view of the millennial generation about drug use as part of its popularization and proliferation.
“We are moving into a post-war on drugs era. We're seeing a softening of drug laws and a softening against drugs, especially among young people,” University of Delaware sociology professor Tammy Anderson told CNN. But others who have seen the effects of this “pure” drug molly say its trappings are a risk to its users. “[Suppliers] are making it look like something that is safe and easy to take, but in many cases, you're playing Russian roulette,” DEA spokesman Payne told CNN.
The words of those involved with drug regulation might not ring as true or as loud in the ears of fans who want to mimic stars as those of the artists they are taking cues from, which might make admission like Joe Budden’s the most powerful anti-molly messages of all.
"I didn’t see a problem with the fact that maybe I was hallucinating at times," Budden told a New York news outlet. “Popping a Molly can make you feel happy and sexy. But experts warn that just one dose can mess up your brain for life.”
Do the same “say no to drug messages” work for those curious to have the experience themselves, or do you think it takes the words of those popularizing the drug to also stem the tide of its use, whether it’s fear of possibly dangerous side effects to its users or to hip-hop music in general?