I was fourteen going on fifteen in 1999 when I visited my uncle in California, he said that weed was a part of hip-hop. Although I had spent the entire summer back in Europe smoking hash out of plastic bottles, I actually disagreed with him. His reasoning was that “all the rappers blaze up”. My impression was that many or quite a few blazed up. I would base my opinion on whether a rapper rapped a lot about weed in his songs. Or sometimes when I was with my friends we would look at the photos in The Source magazine and try to determine who smoked by studying their eyes. We would look for redness, if they were glazed, or if they were partially closed in a tired look.

It’s not wise to draw conclusions based on speculative evidence, but with weed playing a prominent role in so many hip-hop songs, it is safe to say that although Blacks on average may not smoke more weed than whites, one can definitely say that weed is more featured in rap music than in any other music genre. But it’s not all peaches and cream as I like to say, many rappers have in fact denounced smoking of weed. Actually, it’s some of the most prominent weed promoters who have eventually quit or cut down.

In an article in Classic Hip-Hop Magazine, Snoop Dogg talks about how he quit weed entirely for nearly 2 years straight. Although he picked it back up, he still quits for three months a year when he is coaching his Little League football team. Snoop Dogg’s original reason for quitting was his fear of becoming a drug addict. It’s true that’s what he said.

Another famous blunt smoker, Method Man who is famous for his role in the How High movies, has said that he doesn’t want to be associated with weed smoking anymore. And that it ruins his reputation, which is interesting when we live in a time when weed smoking is practically glorified for its stress relieving abilities.

I personally saw that weed was a gateway drug for practically all my friends. There wasn’t one single one of them who didn’t go on to try and use drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamine speed, and even heroin. I was the only one out of my group of homies who never tried any harder drugs. Ironically it was my understanding, rather my deep understanding of hip-hop that I thought hard drugs were not good. My friends, who were also listening to rap all the time, were not able to grasp this. They thought that rappers were smoking weed in the music videos, but doing the hard drugs on the down low. In retrospect, they may have been right.

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