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DRUGS AND HIP HOP IN UGANDA

Over the past few years, some international rappers have died due to drug overdose, rappers like Mac Miller who died at 26, Juice Wrld who recently died at 21,just to mention a few. The Hip Hop industry in America has a bad image of rappers selling drugs, using drugs and misusing drugs at the same time. Since many prominent Hip Hop artists globally publicly declared they are drug users or drug dealers, so many African rappers have fallen victims of using drugs unknowingly claiming they can also succeed if their hip hop role models use drugs and still manage to sell millions of albums, buy trendy expensive mansions and cars.

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         Early August of this year 2019, as I sat in one of the studio in Uganda waiting for my client who wanted me to voice for him his advert: I sat just at the entrance of the studio since I felt no need to sit inside the studio since my client was not even around. After about thirty minutes, three boys walked out of the studio, I guess they were recording their songs. One of them seemed to be sixteen years old. As I sat there minding my business and trying to master my written advertisement script, one of the boys said, ‘bruh I feel like my voice is not coming out nicely’. Then one answered ‘I know bro, you know what? When Wiz Khalifa is recording his songs, he is always high, so thank God we can get weed from some guy in the corner’.

Tweet from Joyner Lucas, an American rapper reacting to the death of Juice WRLD (RIP)

         After them having their conversation for about ten minutes, one of them hurriedly walked and left the two boys behind, and the two boys walked by me and entered the studio. After about twenty minutes, the other one who had left came back breathing like a tiger. He walked passed me without saying a word as if I were a statue. He entered and after a minute, he moved out, then after another minute, the other two moved out and followed him. Within the next minute, another guy followed them and to my surprise, he was the producer of the studio who I had met earlier, he said to me ‘is your client here yet’, I answered ‘no’.

        I was just at the entrance of the studio and the other guys outside, I decided that I could not be there alone in case of any lost property, I would be expected to be accountable. As I stood up to also move behind the studio, I saw a car approaching the studio and to my surprise, my client was the one in the car.

what pushed them to using drugs?

So I left him trying to park in front of the studio to hurry and call the producer. Reaching behind the studio, I thought I had entered a Wiz Khalifa studio session. With tones of smoke and smell in the air. I called the producer but he seemed to be busy being himself, I told him my client is at the reception, and I needed him to come as quick as he can. I went back hurriedly to go greet the client and ask if I can make any changes on the script. As we went through the script for about five minutes, the producer was not yet there. I ran back behind the studio and there, the producer was laughing like Pablo, as if I had not paid him for a session. I told him to come quick because my client seemed to be a busy person.

GNL ZAMBA talking about drugs

         After about another ten minutes, the producer walked in and the other artists walked in. As I entered  close to the recording room, I heard a trap song playing and few voices, the song had a very nice beat with a very strong lyrical content with great rap voices. After settling down, I asked the producer ‘who made that song?’.

He replied, ‘he made the beat and the boys outside the room rapped on it’. I was so surprised, I was talking to myself, why did they even think of taking drugs yet the song is so great?, what pushed them to using drugs?.

Clear The Air – Part one: a Defence for UG Trap music

        After an hour, I was already done with the voice over and the client was happy. The client left me with the producer and I had a chat with him. He told me that most rappers who come to his studio use drugs (WEED aka Mary Jane). Then I asked him, what makes them use the so called WEED?, he kept silent for a while and told me that, the mindset of most rappers are still stuck with the founders of hip hop and their rap role models who use drugs. Then he continued and said he also uses drugs but he wants to leave using them but, his customers use it so it is very hard for him. 

        I left his recording room and as I was passing out, one of the boys who is like sixteen came in staggering and stuttering. I could not say a word but leave him way as he entered the recording room. His eyes were red and he seemed unwell and hungry. That left me wondering how many Ugandan hip hop talents are destroyed every year due to misuse of illicit drugs.

Drugs have destroyed millions of people’s careers, don’t be another statistic. 

Editors’ Note: Not only marijuana is used / abused other drugs consume many rappers lives. It could be an addiction to alcohol.

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Neliah is an artist from G2Complex

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