Lil Wayne & the Curious Case of Rap Rehabilitation


Words by Tony Grands

According to the media (both in real-life & on the aggregated interwebs), Lil Wayne has been battling a bout of seizures over the past several months.Some “news” sites, like TMZ, even went so far as insinuating that he’d all but died during the last one. While none of us outsiders truly knows what’s causing these attacks, it’s a fair assessment to make in saying that it probably has something to do with drug use. If he didn’t rap about drugs so much, my opinion would likely be different, but he continually spews bars about his insatiable lust for mind-altering substances – with specificity – so who am I to not believe him? Although, I don’t necessarily believe him when he brags about shooting people or having gratuitous amounts of anal sex, either, but that’s neither here nor there.

If his seizures are the result of codeine addiction some sort of drug abuse, I don’t expect Wayne to get any help. Most people wait until it’s too late anyway, and I imagine that living the rap life leaves little to no room for lifestyle maintenance & health management. Nonetheless, Lil Wayne could possibly be marching head-first into a fate similar to the one that took Texas Hip Hop legends DJ Screw & Pimp C, respectively. Both of those men died with some variation of “syrup” in their system, and even though the Hip Hop community was stunned by their premature deaths, the culture continues to take drugs like there is no tomorrow. The irony in that is if enough drugs are taken, the probability of tomorrow never arriving becomes more and more achievable. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; our very own, misguided Manifest Destiny, so to speak.

It’s no secret that rap music promotes sex, violence, & drug use, but when sh*t gets real, then what? What I mean by “real” is rappers killing one another over beef. Rappers becoming addicted to their vices. And for the record, this isn’t a piece about Lil Wayne, Pimp C, or DJ Screw. It’s about the tragic trajectory of America’s drug culture which has surreptitiously infiltrated middle-ground urban America. See, Hip Hop culture is only a little bit older than I am. It’s young, in terms of long-standing societies, so it makes complete scientific sense that only now would we see any social affects on it’s participants. I don’t know much about Lean or Mollies (which both appear to be Hip Hop’s current drugs of choice), but I know I’ve seen weed become as common with young people as a Newport after Xmas dinner. If that’s any indication of Hip Hop’s influential headlock on the urban United States of America, the future is going to be substantially rougher than any of us could have forecasted.

Again, let’s assume Wayne’s seizures were due to his drug habits. And let’s pretend he knows it. Do you think he’d take the necessary steps to get healthy & take his message to his fans? Probably not, especially because he’s a mega-rap/pop star who makes tons of monies based on his image. He might even think it would be kinda cool to overdose at this leveled-off apex of his career. That’s the short-term mentality that got us here in the first place.

At the rate we’re going, It’s only a matter of time before rapper rehabilitation becomes as “popular” as it is in the Hollywood sector of entertainment. And we don’t even have to look that far, seeing as though Chris Kelly, of Kris Kross, recently died of a drug overdose. His family and friends acknowledged that he’d been fighting a drug problem for a long time, but sadly, that recognition came too late. Maybe if Chris had somewhere to go, he’d wouldn’t have died so unnecessarily, like many before him. How many die after him, though, is something we can still control.

photo courtesy of

Words by Tony Grands


7 comments on “Lil Wayne & the Curious Case of Rap Rehabilitation

  1. markdub7 says:

    Great piece, Grands. These youngins REALLY NEED TO acknowledge the real dangers of fuxin w/this lean and this molly isht before too late. If Wayne was REALLY as trill as he says he is, he’d be honest to these kids about this drug use.


    • markdub7 says:

      I meant to say if he was as trill as he claims to be he’d be honest about the dangers of this drug use to the kids. But as you stated in the post, he’s prolly afraid it’ll hurt his image…..


  2. Krissy says:

    I wish folks would start respecting their lives more. He’s blessed to be able to entertain the masses but he needs to start thinking about all of his children and his family that would be devistated if they lost him.

    Speaking as someone who has family members who have been on drugs and have sought help, its possible to still live his very exciting life sober. My brother just started a line called Sober Fresh and the message is so positive I think even the thuggiest(i made that word up if you were wondering) of rappers would be with it.

    It really makes me sad thought that the demon that is drugs can get a hold of a person so much so that nothing matters more than the drug.


    • Tony Grands says:

      I’ve been through it. Celebrated my fifth year of sobriety (from Alcohol) April 1st. Hospital, rehab, the whole shabang. Now I’m a substance abuse counselor. I know the journey firsthand.


      • Krissy says:

        congrats to you! My brother is a year sober. He just graduated his program and I couldn’t be prouder of him and that accomplishment. Pretty proud of you and yours too. 5 years is nothing to sneeze at. My aunt has been clean and sober 12 years now. I’ve seen the ups and downs and its no joke but what I do know if that a person won’t get help until they have reached their bottom and sometimes its too late once the bottom is reached.


  3. Capital G says:

    You can’t help those who don’t want it. If the masses acknowledged “lean” was an opioid or opiate that was just a synthetic version of HEROIN maybe the shiny allure would be removed. These dumb asses are giving themselves an addiction drinking COUGH SYRUP! Wow, truly pathetic when you think of a drug hierarchy. Call the shit liquid heroin and it ain’t so cool anymore. And “molly” isn’t even the same thing as the extacy the Dutch and Israelis were flooding us with in the mid to late 90’s. (I know my shit, but this ain’t about me).

    Shit is becoming a real life version of the HOT97 morning show’s “Ratchet, Turnt UP, Molly” song. I’ve seen addiction destroy very close family and tons of friends or acquaintances and to keep it 100, I’ve done my fair share of helping to destroy people and paid dearly for my transgressions.

    Point being, the line between entertainment and real life is so blurred that the generation of people under the age of 30 are pretty much fucked. That’s why Chief Keef and French Montana are so popular when they’re clearly more garbage than a land fill.


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