Since its rise in popularity in the late ’80s, rap music has gotten a bum rap. For years, the complaints around rap have been fierce. They also haven’t changed that much: the music is said to glorify violence, drugs, misogyny, and a criminal lifestyle. Even fans of the music can be critical; how many times have we heard an older rap fan criticize young rappers who “glorify” doing drugs?
A new study is fighting back at this narrative. Using data from Songmeanings API, Addictions.com did a study analyzing what musical genres mention drugs the most. It turns out it’s country music, by far, that has the most drug references in their music, followed by jazz, pop, electronic, and rock.
Hip-hop music actually comes in last of the eight genres analyzed:
Even more interesting, drug talk in music, in general, has plummeted. Spiking in the mid-aughts and dropping every year since.
When looking at the artists who talk about drugs the most, rappers dominate the list. California rap group Kottonmouth Kings comes in at number one, followed by Eminem, The Game, Lil Wayne, and Jay Z.
This is a fascinating and in-depth study. Check it out here.