The very notion of a hip hop artist or rapper being clean and sober is almost a complete contradiction to what most people imagine when they think about music culture.
Truthfully, however, there have been a number of artists in the hip hop and rap world who unabashedly used one substance or another – and rapped about it. Consider Snoop Dogg or the group Cypress Hill and you’ve got it. There’s no doubt that partying and the musical genre have traditionally gone hand-in-hand.
But there are a number of well-known hip hop artists and rappers who chose to be clean and sober, either due to recovery or just personal preference.
Here are five.
André Lauren Benjamin, better known by his stage name André 3000, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer and actor. He is most famously a member of the group OutKast.
He was once into partying and experimenting with substances, but that is no longer the case. He spoke to VIBE in 2012:
“I actually looked in the mirror and saw myself deteriorating. I was like, ‘Man, we’re doing too much. Way too much.'”
Robert Bryson Hall (aka Logic) is a 26-year-old American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer.
He may have poised to go down the wrong path, substance-use wise. He admits to having used marijuana heavily for awhile, but not longer smokes. The reason? Childhood. He reports that his mother was a prostitute and both his parents were addicts.
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (known professionally as Kendrick Lamar) is a 29-year-old American rapper and songwriter.
Lamar is one of the few clean rappers who was never into partaking in the first place. His father was an addict, and warned him early on not to follow in his footsteps.
Reportedly, he doesn’t drink or smoke, and has come out against trends in rap music which glorify drug use.
Ben Haggerty (aka Macklemore) is a 33-year-old American hip hop recording artist.
Macklemore has been extremely open publicly about this substance use. He has been through recovery, relapse, and everything in between. In an interview he told MTV that he was frequently on and off the wagon while he was making music. He was often abusing the addictive painkiller oxycodone.
In May of 2015, the artist appeared with Barack Obama in a weekly address to discuss the dangers of opioid addiction.
Marshall Bruce Mathers (aka Eminem) is a 44-year-old American hip hop recording artist, record producer and actor from Detroit, Michigan.
Eminem has also been quite forthcoming about this substance use, and like many, once abused prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax.
He survived an overdose, spent time in rehab, and after a couple of relapses appears to have been on the mend for quite some time.