African Music Influencing Drug Use

Molly MDMA

Substance use has been referred to in lyrics by rappers since the 1980s, with some paying honor to the use of drug and its euphoric benefits. A series of rap songs was released in 2012 that referred to 3, 4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). The hit “Mercy” by Kanye West mentioned the euphoric effects of MDMA and after that, an increase was reported in the use of search term “Molly”.

A synthetic drug, MDMA, also recognized as “molly” or “ecstasy” changes perception and mood. It possesses both hallucinogenic and stimulant properties and is known for provoking robust feelings of empathy. In the beginning, it was only popular among gay men and electronic dance music events. However, the use of MDMA has been recently been shown to be common among a variety of people. Recently, a resurgence has been experienced in the popularity of MDMA and it has become a prominent part of hip-hop culture.

Storylines related to MDMA have been commonly observed in movies and television shows with high ratings.

MDMA is usually depicted by these programs as exciting and fun with minimal effects, resulting in normalization of the drug. MDMA is even stated by African rappers and pop musicians in their lyrics, due to which the drug is being referred to by some top media channels as the new “it” drug among youth. The use of MDMA has increased specifically in some cities of the US among African Americans.

Across the US, several urban African Americans neighborhoods have ready availability of MDMA. A survey conducted by the researchers at the University of South Florida suggests that black Americans might be influenced by hip-hop music to try molly. Molly is a crystal or powder form of ecstasy.

The researchers found that among the black American youth, 82% reported to have been influenced by hip-hop music to try the drug.

The drug is being promoted by several hip-hop songs as a means of decreasing sexual reserves and support partying, subsiding the risks related to such drugs as cocaine and heroin. The use of alcohol and marijuana is known to be influenced by hip-hop music. However, this study found a link between the use of molly and listening to hip-hop music.

The use of this drug among some black Americans is found to be influenced by the lyrics of African hip-hop music. An insight into the increasing use of MDMA among black Americans might be provided by the findings of this study. It also indicates how the black American youth is getting introduced to molly. References to Molly are not only present in the genre of African rap or hip-hop music, but also the lyrics of African pop music mention the drug.

The focus of earlier researches on molly was commonly on European and White populations besides regular rap/hip-hop music listeners in dance parties. Hence, the focus of this research was specifically on the Black users and the influence of hip-hop music on the patterns of use of molly by this ethnic group.

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