Along Came Molly


Hip-hop at its best is rebel music. It was born in an era where the dreams of Black America ever becoming fully integrated into the American Dream were fading away. So there was always a hint of subversion for American Ideals. The same way Rock N Roll was considered perverse in the 50’s, hip-hop was considered obscene in the 80’s.

One of those subversive ideas has become the popularizing of a blaxploitation era myth: The hero drug dealer. In real life most sensible people rightly recognize the drug dealer as a scourge on our community. Perpetuating violence, preying on children, exploiting the vices of the most vulnerable among us, these are things which we look upon disdainfully. But you would never know it from the music we listen to. And when I say we I am including myself in this one. As I write this I’m heavy into my iTunes playlist. There must have been a thousand kilos of cocaine moved and hundreds of murders already today in my little slice of the hip-hop world.

But I can deal with drug dealer anthems. Because I know that it’s not easy to emulate. If I have everything going for me I’m not going to throw it away to go try to live out Pusha T’s verses. I can admire that music and just say to myself “that’s not my life though”. No my beef isn’t with drug dealer rap it’s with drug user rap. I know it’s hypocritical of me to single out rappers who celebrate their substance abuse when said substance abuse has inspired classic albums like Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and classic songs like “Sippin on Some Sizzurp”.  And I know it’s not the responsibility of the artists, the labels, or the mass media conglomerates that deliver our music to us to promote healthy living. I just think this moment in time is a turning point in hip-hop that might cause it to become more like rock n roll and I mean that in a bad way.

How many rock stars have gone out in a blaze of drug addiction and/or suicide? Enough to fill up several seasons of E! True Hollywood Story and VH1’s Behind The Music. There are already drug tragedies in hip-hop. Ol’ Dirty Bastard comes to mind. And the rehabilitation of DMX is an ongoing struggle. I’m not trying to equate “Molly” with heroin and crack mind you. It’s just that for years the gangja activists have been telling us that weed is not a gateway drug. But for mainstream hip-hop and its fans it has proven to be just that.

Today we are just as likely to hear about lean as we are weed. Weed has become almost pedestrian. There are suburban soccer moms who smoke weed in their caravans after they drop the kids off at their swimming lessons. It has become basically legal in two states and unofficially legal in so many others. It’s not shocking or counter cultural at all. Face it, weed is boring. But musicians and artists (not just hip-hop artists) are always looking for an edge. Lean or Purp or whatever you want to call it, a mixture of cough syrup and other barbiturates has become a staple among the new generation of rap. It’s not quite as harmless as weed. At least with weed the argument went “It comes from the earth its natural”. You can’t make that claim with lean.  They also say too much weed never hurt anybody and nobody ever got locked up based on their weed addiction. The same thing can’t be said for lean. Ask Pimp C and DJ Screw about the death part. Ask Beanie Sigel about the getting locked up part.

Today Molly is the popular drug in rap lyrics. It’s nothing new though. It’s basically ecstasy. And it’s hilarious that our nostalgia is for the early 2000’s suddenly E pills and the Harlem shake are popular again. But while the Harlem shake is merely annoying, the rebranding of MDMA as Molly is potentially dangerous.

We can have an adult conversation about drugs. Sure I use “drugs” every day. Caffeine is a drug. Alcohol is a drug. Just like anything else it’s all in moderation. Cocaine started out as medicine. Ditto for Heroin. In the 60’s the dangers of LSD were exaggerated. In the 1930’s the exaggerated anti marijuana hype produced a cult classic film Reefer Madness. And there are plenty of people who go to a party take a pill that makes them feel funny and wake up the next day and go to work or class like nothing happened.

But hip-hop doesn’t do moderation. Have you listened to rap lately? There’s nothing casual about its drug use. When our rappers decide something is cool they ALL decide it’s cool and they advocate for it loudly and repeatedly. Rappers are some of the best marketers and promoters in the world. And we as fans actually listen to it. I’m not saying we’re all sheep, but until a few weeks ago I didn’t know what a Bugatti was now I know I want to wake up in one.

Hip-hop is still a youth culture despite the fact that all our favorite emcees are 30 plus.  Emcees are selling a lifestyle that may be at odds with the personal values of many of their fans. We already accepted that the drug dealer is just a character most emcees play. But the drug user is an extension of the opulent lifestyle of a successful artist. Sex Drugs and Rock N Roll has truly become Sex Drugs and Hip-Hop. Drug use is much easier to emulate than drug dealing and we’re all plugged in listening and watching. Future, Drake, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross and others have expressed preferences for females who “pop molly”. That’s all well and good until one of your daughters, sisters or wives makes their way on to the tour bus.

Strangely maybe it’s a sign of maturation for hip-hop that any of our most popular artists is a candidate for celebrity rehab. To date Joe Budden has been the only emcee with any kind of an audience that has spoken out against the Molly trend. But that was only after experiencing it for himself. Indeed in regards to drug use as a negative Joe Budden and his Shady Records Boss Eminem have been two of the only popular emcees today that have detailed struggles with addiction in their music throughout their careers. The cautionary drug tale is all but dead in hip-hop. Perhaps drugs will have to do to an up and coming emcee what bullets did to Biggie before people speak more seriously about over indulging in these vices. Until then we’re in danger of entering the “Hair Band” era of rap.


E. Knight lives in Philadelphia. Check out his blog

  • Mafia Is Forever

    If an artist can’t just teach and uplift in a positive manner then I feel that they don’t need to be heard.

    • pockets_hot_from_pepperoni

      Agreed the modern day industry would likely crumble if this were reality though. People don’t want to this but it seems so full of self importance and instant gratification. No other music genre, of merit is like this.

      • Mafia Is Forever

        People on average are followers and they’ll adapt to whatever. So, I think if the industry were to drastically change and become an ocean of positivity, people may at first rebel against it but eventually they’d conform, as long as the changes are consistent.

  • “Rappers are some of the best marketers and promoters in the world.”

    If private prisons hired a spokesperson to promote prison, would they chose rappers or not?

    Who promotes a “headed to prison” lifestyle more than rappers?

    • lindsey lohan?

      • She would advertise for the court system, LOL~N

      • Q.

        That slunt has yet to see the inside of a prison.

      • whats slunt,? slut & c*nt? hahahah
        yea but thats why its good advertisement, normal people think they can do it & wont go to prison, then suprise! haha

    • brotha_man

      we need more public enemy and KRS-One type rappers

      • I agree 100%

      • DollasTX

        he had to say KRS-ONE … damn it LOL

      • Hahahaaaa!

        You can count on that!

      • $28825362

        Just a question: Do you think the machine would push that message today? I remember when Styles P had that “I’m Black” song, no one even heard it unless you bought the album. They tried their best to bury that joint.

    • brotha_man

      I was watching scared straight and this kid was on there saying he gangbangs, fights and uses drugs because his favorite rapper does it. they asked him who his favorite rapper was. he replied “Lil Boosie”. *sips coffee and continues reading newsweek*

  • the picture used for the article is picture of ecstasy- & those have heroin and crack in them.

    molly is capsules that are not pictured.

  • codeine cough syrup is “lean” & that contains opiates & that comes from the earth. basically liquid form of pain killers like oxycontin & vicodin & percocet which are basically legal versions of heroin

    • Celz

      That’s not true fam.. Codeine is a pharmaceutical and half the high is from promethazine … Syrup is not natural by any stretch of the imagination..

      • codiene is opiate thats opium from poppy

      • Celz

        I know everything on earth is originally from the earth. It’s either a organic or a mineral but when something natural is artificially processed it isn’t natural.. Codeine isn’t made the way heroin is.. And prometh isn’t natural either.. No one drinks codeine only syrup..

      • i see what your saying. i never f’d w the syrup, only oxys percs vics ect

      • Shi*t I am sick right now and have cough syrup that has a little codine in it. I hate medicine it is used for pain. I never did that sh*t. I see that it fks people up permanently. I never understood people abusing it like that but when you are in pain it makes you feel numb and can be addictive to some people. I hate the down doped up feeling. Why would I want to stay like that all day. That green is different I can see that but anything else fk that. I had a homie when I was hurt say yo what are you going to do with that percacet are you done? I was like I am not in pain anymore of course I don’t need it. He wanted it badly then I thought about it and said you want to get high from that sh*t. haha

      • those painkillers give nice high, my fav next to weed… but b careful not to get addicted, but mayb ur homeboy wantd 2 sell em, easy to make quick couple hundred dollars

    • Q.

      That’s like saying plastic is natural, because it contains oil, which also comes from the earth! Syrup is processed, chemically altered. Anything processed, chemically altered is artificial and ultimately no bueno for the human body.

      • well we dont get too much of tha syrup up north in MN , but them pills are nice but even those r man made now ; (

  • weed does not get boring, there is million different strains & different ways you can ingest it.

  • this writer didnt do much research on these drugs before he/she wrote the article buuuuut:

    fans should understand when an artist makes a song, its a snapshot of their life. its a moment they experienced, maybe just 1 time. but the song gets played a million times but that doesnt mean they did that a million times.

    • brotha_man

      that sounds inaccurate as well. im sure rappers are hearing what sells and makes records based on whats popular.. for example I could make a rap song about taking molly’s in the club, never used the drug but I now the effects from songs that ive heard.

      lesson of the day: most rappers lie about the life they lead because they know the negative stuff sells the most.
      rapping about becoming a lawyer wouldn’t be so cool to some…

      • greenhouse records

        Wiz Khalifa admitted this in a article recently. He did a song about molly wit tyga and said he jump on it because its the trend now but has never used it. smh

      • there is a lot of lawyers so i dont understand your logic. just like rick ross cuda made CO music there are a lot of COs that would buy it

  • MDMA started out as medicine, & there are new studies going on now about the benefits of it, usually related to helping relationship problems, & helping victims of a traumatizing event get over the painful memories that haunt them everyday.

    & molly is pure MDMA which is not basically ecstasy, like i mentioned in the other post ecstasy many times contains heroin and crack.

    • Mafia Is Forever

      Crack?! LMAO! Do you mean coke, man?

      • no crack, but anyamphetamine, like meth too. i put crack bcz they said they “arent saying molly is like crack or heroin”, then later said”” molly is basically ectsasy” but ectasy is crack heroin meth coke & mdma so this article gives more wrong info than any song

      • Shalove2

        Nonsense. E has been around since the late 70’s, crack didn’t show up until 1985. E is MDMA and it was created in 1917.

      • its got all dif amphetamines in it now

  • $18592567

    I’m so glad I got off of Molly. That shit is gonna be the cause of many downfalls… It’s so dangerous, because tolerance is built quickly. Tne mood swings for abusers will lead to violent paranoid actions. Recreationally, it may be ok but it’s tragic with addictive personality types. Give molly 5 years and everyone will see…

    • David Gonz

      molly, or mdma, or ex, or whatever u call it has been around way past 5 years homie.your parents were probably off it.

      • $18592567

        I’m talkin’ Molly crystalized that’s been in my hood for the last year or year and a half… E-pills and molly may have the same ingredients, but the effects are mad different imho

      • molly is pure mdma, doesnt have the ampheteamines & opiates added

  • Blaczar7777777

    These things are suppose to induce sex but bad enough some females don’t look good without make up why would you drop one notch just to see a not so attractive woman do freaky things. Think when you use a condom so would you want to think without it?

  • Shalove2

    Alcohol is the gateway drug and the one first used by everyone. It was in most of our homes and in a store in every neighborhood.
    i guess I’m old but when did brothers start poppin’ pills? That never use to be our thing.

    • ??? go to the hood. been that way for years.

      • Shalove2

        Hip Hop acting more and more like gay club kids but they always yelling “No Homo” and “Pause”. Pause indeed!

  • PliggaNease

    last time i popped a molly i woke up in a bugatti