Drug Use And Music Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Music Type: Essay Paper: #80995047 Related Topics: Vertigo, Rap Music, Rock N Roll, Drugs
Excerpt from Essay :

Drug

Music is an art form that addresses many social issues, even in popular music otherwise designed for entertainment. I am interested in this topic because drug use is one of those many different issues. Most forms of music will address drug use at some point, and it is important to consider not only how music addresses drugs but how the way in which it has done so has changed, if indeed it has changed at all. For this paper, I wanted to see if I could look at music that is about a number of different drugs, in order to maybe get a sense of whether there were contextual issues at work. The list of songs is found in the table below:

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

The Beatles

LSD

Comfortably Numb

Pink Floyd

1979

Heroin

Because I Got High

Afroman

2001

Marijuana

Snowblind

Black Sabbath

1972

Cocaine

Waterworld

Leak Bros

2004

PCP

These songs span different eras, different drugs and different styles of music. Two are hip hop songs, three are rock songs. The rock songs are older, the hip hop songs are newer. Primack et al. (2008) performed a study that explored the connection between drugs and music. In a study of 279 drug-related songs, the authors found that drugs were referenced in 14% of rock songs and 77% of rap songs. Rock had one of the lowest amounts of drug references -- lower than country or R&B while rap had one of the highest. The authors found that because of this, adolescents are "exposed to approximately 84 references to explicit substance use daily in popular songs" -- and indeed four of the five I chose were major hits (no pun intended).

Despite deliberately choosing a diverse group of songs, there were nevertheless some similarities. All songs except Snowblind were slow in tempo, for example, which might well mirror the effects of the drug -- in which case we would expect Snowblind to be the fastest. In terms of message, the songs tended to either reflect that the artist was the audience -- it was written almost as a cathartic exercise...

...

Arguably Comfortably Numb is the main exception to this. Of the four others, none are overtly a cautionary tale in a preachy away. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is celebratory, Because I Got High is comical/cautionary, while Snowblind and Waterworld are overtly dark tales reflecting addiction.

There is a role that context plays in the way the drug use is treated is also something worth considering. The Beatles were writing in an era when the psychedelic effects of LSD were being celebrated, and therefore were comfortable taking that tone in their song. Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd were major acts and while their songs were overtly about drug use, they also avoided taking too dark a tone, something that might be expected from mainstream acts. Waterworld, from an underground act and about a drug that has little to no glamor, is easily the harshest and darkest of the songs on this list. Rap is also a musical form that tends to be more blunt in how it treats the darker side of life. The song first talks about PCP use but moves into verses about the vocalists' impending deaths from their addiction. The other songs shy away from this side, despite two of them featuring drugs that often kill their users.

It may be that the franker treatment of dark issues in rap music is precisely why drug use is talked about more in that form of music. Even Afroman, while being comedic, is frank about some of the negative side effects on quality of life that come from overuse of marijuana. Some studies have shown that different types of music correlate to the use of different drugs (Forsyth, Barnard & McKegany, 1997). There are many reasons for this, and different drugs and types of music may simply attract similar types of people. There is also the question as to whether a specific form of music drives the drug use, or whether its artists simply reflect back the culture in which they exist -- the Beatles and Black Sabbath were certainly doing that.

Finding causation…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Lennon, J. & McCartney, P. (1967). Lucy in the sky with diamonds. [Recorded by the Beatles] On Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band London: Parlophone.

Waters, R. & Gilmour, D. (1979) Comfortably numb. [Recorded by Pink Floyd]. On The Wall. London: Harvest Records.

Foreman, J. (2001). Because I got high. [Recorded by Afroman]. On Because I Got High. Los Angeles: T-Bones Records.

Butler, G., Iommi, T., Osbourne, O. & Ward, B. (1972) Snowblin. [Recorded by Black Sabbath]. On Vol. 4. Los Angeles: Vertigo.


Cite this Document:

"Drug Use And Music" (2014, February 27) Retrieved October 23, 2021, from
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/drug-use-and-music-183965

"Drug Use And Music" 27 February 2014. Web.23 October. 2021. <
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/drug-use-and-music-183965>

"Drug Use And Music", 27 February 2014, Accessed.23 October. 2021,
https://www.paperdue.com/essay/drug-use-and-music-183965

Related Documents
Drugs, Rock Music and Developing Countries Examining
Words: 3218 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 16023785

Drugs, Rock Music and Developing Countries Examining the effects of imported rock music on developing countries and its impact on violence and drug abuse is by no means a simple or straightforward task. One important factor is that this type of music overwhelmingly appeals to young people under age 30, and these are often the majority of the population in many developing nations, especially the Middle East and North Africa. To

Drug Use "House Passes Drug
Words: 1817 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 44420444

The web site gives kids a definition of drugs and then goes on to discuss the difference between legal and illegal drugs. Written in a way that children can understand, this web site makes it easy for children to gain a positive attitude toward taking the legal, prescribed drugs that a doctor has given them while still understanding the danger of taking illegal drugs. Because it is geared toward

Music Analysis on Drug Use
Words: 1230 Length: 3 Pages Topic: Music Paper #: 13459483

Music Analysis The social problem that I am examining in music is drugs, which are a fairly frequent topic in many types of music, but they can be both glorified and vilified. This is an interesting subject specifically because of this dichotomy. Some subjects are treated in a fairly uniform manner -- there are probably a few pro-war songs, but not many. Popular music has an interesting time with drugs, however,

Jazz and Drug Use
Words: 1655 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Music Paper #: 58382297

Jazz and Drug Use The music industry has often been associated with drug use, but most people think of rock and roll or rap when they consider musicians who use drugs. It may surprise these people to know that jazz music also has its share of drug use, and that this link has been ongoing since well before the 1960s (Aldridge, 28). This is important to consider, since there are many

Drug Culture in Film
Words: 1707 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 86662737

Drug Culture Midterm Prior to this course, I had a very narrow interpretation of drug culture in regards to film. The films I was most familiar with were those that focused on marijuana such as Cheech and Chong films, Pineapple Express, Half-Baked, and the Harold and Kumar trilogy among others. Additionally, the only other heroin-centric film I was aware of was Trainspotting, and the only other cocaine-centric film that had made

Drugs Marijuana in Depth the Neuroscience of
Words: 1534 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Sports - Drugs Paper #: 79371974

Drugs Marijuana in Depth THE NEUROSCIENCE OF THE DRUG Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a plant that contains a chemical compound called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol is called THC for short. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2010), smoking marijuana (which is the most common form of intake) causes the chemical THC to "rapidly pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body."