Lil Peep: Talking About Addiction in the EDM Community
In my nearly two years of working as a music journalist, I’ve learned that the EDM scene consists of four major components: peace, love, unity and respect. These components are commonly referred to as “PLUR,” and many of the artists I speak with constantly reiterate that their goals are to spread good vibes and positive energy. With all of this said, one question still remains: Why is EDM culture so often associated with hard drugs?
If you’ve ever mentioned to people that you enjoy EDM or attending raves, chances are, you’ve probably been asked ridiculous questions like “do you pop molly?” or “have you ever tripped on acid?” While my intent isn’t to pass judgment on those who use party drugs, it’s always been puzzling to me as to why people associate raves and EDM with these types of substances.
Trap artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Future and Lil Peep have glorified the recreational use of Xanax. The latter of the three recently shocked the world after he passed away last Wednesday due to an overdose. Since Lil Peep‘s death, Lil Uzi Vert has vowed to stop using hard drugs, and a lot of other artists have been contributing to the addiction conversation.
Before Lil Peep‘s death, I came across a story in which DJ Amberdhen chastised the use of party drugs, stating that “one of the best ways to feel something isn’t drugs; it’s being present. In my opinion, drugs are a way of chasing something that is really right inside of you the whole time.”
A reader commented on this story saying that if one were to “Remove the Drugs…. EDM dies.”
This comment bothered me. I’ve always felt that if one really enjoys the music, they can enjoy it without feeling the need to be under the influence of a hard substance. If it gets to the point where one feels as though they need to use certain drugs in order to enjoy themselves at a festival or a rave, it is a sign of dependency and addiction.
Although Lil Peep‘s death is tragic, I’m glad that issues like substance abuse, addiction, and dependency are being brought to light. Hopefully, these topics don’t fade away and the conversation continues. As more people become educated on the effects of substance abuse, the death by overdose rates will hopefully lower.