Ed’s Beat: Not on my Level

Why do people associate Snoop Dogg with marijuana? What is swag? Would Kid Cudi make good music again if he went back to smoking dope?
These are the deep philosophical questions that haunt my teenage mind on the long walk to school. It seems in this day and age that drugs and music are difficult to separate. The line between what is bad and what is “swag” is constantly becoming fuzzier; popular hip-hop artists brag about smoking blunts, Kesha tells us to expect to “Die Young” and MDMA is taking over the electronic dance scene. Where did it go wrong?
The connection between music and drugs is by no means a recent one (drinking songs have been around since the advent of drinking), but this is the first time where songs promoting drugs have really seen any mainstream media attention. Dr. Dre’s “Kush” sold 45,000 copies in two days and has seen heavy radio airtime since being released in November of 2010. The song was beautifully crafted, a catchy tune and catchy lyrics. Almost too catchy. And this is just one song among many.
Most importantly, the exposure to these drug related songs may have negative implications for the future. Many kids look to the mainstream media for their music, so when “Kush” and “Die Young” come up among the top 100 on iTunes, it could send the wrong message about drug use. Similarly, these same kids may look up to popular artists as role models, further putting the pressure on these individuals to promote the right message.
It will never be possible to separate the music scene from the drug scene. However, it is possible to filter out drug-related music from the mainstream media, further reducing the subliminal message that drugs are OK. Radio stations and music distributors should take it upon themselves to keep the airwaves clean, and send the right message.