1960’s: The Decade that Saw the Influence of Drugs in Music

When we think about the 1960’s, we look back at the years when social revolution and modern technology have begun. People have started to be more aware of their environment and have become more open to changes. This decade shaped lots of changes in various fields. It is also during this decade when music has been widely influenced by drugs. Though illegal drugs have long been used in the past, they became more widely used because of popular musicians who were performing under the influence of drugs. Continue Reading

The Influence of the 1960’s Lives On

There is a buzz in the medical world about medicinal marijuana. This has long been brewing, and in recent years, state governments have gotten around to the realization that marijuana is not as evil as it seems. Although cannabis was included in the original listing of illicit drugs, it has been found to be relatively benign compared with other drugs. In fact, studies have shown that for medicinal purposes, marijuana is less addictive than most other prescription anti-pain medication like vicodin and morphine.

States which allow the sale of medicinal marijuana each have their own rules and regulations. The sale is done through legal dispensaries. There are websites which detail how to open a dispensary. These are mainly for legitimate businessmen and alternative medicine practitioners. The main idea is that these are authorized by the government to dispense marijuana with a prescription.

The reason that it took so long for marijuana to be recognized for its medicinal uses is because it was formerly used as an introductory drug. Even during the height of the flower power revolution, when bands and musicians were using drugs like cocaine, LSD and heroin, they did not start off with these hard drugs. They were first introduced into drugs with marijuana. This association with other hallucinogenic drugs gave marijuana a reputation which was not easy to debunk.

On the other hand, morphine was already being used as a painkiller, long before cannabis came into popular use. Morphine was backed by the medical community and is still in use for specific cases of pain management. The abuse of morphine was at one point more common among war veterans.

The 1960’s was a time of revolution in music and fashion and these influences are still around and will most probably be still around for a long time to come. Major clothing labels were influenced by the hippie revolution that they took the hippie style and introduced it into the mainstream fashion. The use of synthesizers and ambient tones was first introduced during that era. Mainly it was a form of psychedelic trip which musicians used to convey their own drug trips. The same techniques are still in use to this day. The revolutions of the 1960’s live on to this day.

The Rock Star Lifestyle: Contemporary Artists and Substance Abuse

Besides Satan worship and being considered a bad influence on the young, music has always been correlated with drugs. In fact, hundreds of organizations and artists actively protest the use of it in their songs and albums. However, no matter what people say, drugs have played a huge influence in music and the trend isn’t limited to one genre. Almost every huge artist that has played a role in shaping music, has done one form of drug. Here are some contemporary artists that have admitted, or have been caught, using drugs for their music.

Macklemore
Ben Haggerty has been known for many of his high energy and catchy Hip Hop songs. Thrift shop and Can’t hold Us have blown charts away and are considered some of the best Hip Hop tracks in contemporary music. What you may not know is that before his independent label with Ryan Lewis blew up, he struggled with various types of addiction. If you think that he’s relatively clean, take a listen to two specific songs; Otherside and Neon Cathedral. In both, the young star admits and often croons about his previous poisons. Starting Over is another one of his songs that talk about drug abuse, but this time it takes a sadder approach by regarding the times he’s relapsed. As of today, however, Macklemore now advocates against the use of drugs in music.

Keith Urban
Country singers have always had a notorious streak with alcohol, but in recent years, a lot of focus fell on Keith Urban. If you don’t know the guy, well, a lot of his earlier work is considered some of the best country albums you’ll ever hear. However, from 1991 to 1995, he struggled with both alcohol and cocaine use. In an interview, he stated that if he didn’t check himself into rehab, he would have lost everything he’s worked for. Like Macklemore above, rehab helped him start over, and now he often holds concerts to raise money and awareness on the dangers of alcohol addiction.

Lemmy Kilmister
Lemmy’s been regarded as one of the founders of heavy metal. Motorhead has had tons of noteworthy tracks hit the charts and are considered some of the pillars of rock music. Lemmy’s still doing a ton of alcohol though, but before that, he was also heavily influenced by drugs. As the years have gone by, Lemmy stills says he has no intention of dropping his addictions.

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg is notorious for his addiction to marijuana; however, the years have proven him right. The legalization of the plant as a recreational drug has made it easier for the rapper to enjoy his favorite substance. His music has changed over the years, but only because the feud between the east and west coast is over. That’s a relatively good thing because there were a lot people who got hurt because of the fighting. Now he just does music because he loves it.

The point here is that musicians can be both repentant and unrepentant at the same time. Rarely, you might even get an artist like Kendrick Lamar who has never done drugs, but does understand their dangers and now actively speaks out against them.