Turn Down the Turn Up: The Healthier Lifestyle of Hip Hop



 (Photo Credit: www.liimatta.us)

When it comes the lifestyle in hip hop, what are two words that come to mind? Did you say “Turn Up”? Many people may think the same way. From social media networks to music videos, you would think the hip-hop life is the ultimate party!

In some instances, this isn’t the case. Over the past couple of years, people that are involved in the culture have lost their lives due to poor health choices. Some may people say “living today as if it is there's no tomorrow.” After reading this article, hopefully you will begin to open up different ways to live a healthier lifestyle.

In February of 2000, Bronx emcee Christopher “Big Pun” Rios died due to heart failure and extreme obesity.

Biography.com reported, “On February 7, he experienced difficulty breathing and collapsed in his hotel room. His wife called 911, but emergency medical workers were not able to revive him. Only 28 years old at the time, Big Pun died of heart failure, weighing nearly 700 pounds.”

Around that time in the world of hip-hop, it may have seemed unlikely that a rapper at that age would have passed away due to health issues. Different from the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace.

Within five years, listeners became hip to what people call “Chopped and Screwed" music. The music was no longer about "drinking champagne”, “smoking weed”, or such actions. What some people did not realize is that this music was infused from the lifestyle of drinking “Lean”. It became more so about having a Styrofoam cup filled with some “Purple Drank”. Soon after people started losing their lives due to drinking a concoction of Promethazine and Codeine mixed with soda such as Sprite.

EliteDaily.com reported, “For well over a decade now, the influence of prescription cough syrup has been a highly glamorized and extremely dangerous part of hip-hop”.

In the earlier 2000s, the originator of “Chopped and Screwed” music DJ Skrew and member of the Houston group “UGK” Pimp C died from drinking so much of it. Harlem’s ASAP Yams recently passed away from the effects of drinking "Lean."  Now, think about it. Do you think this made people stop drinking it? Certain artists such as Lil Wayne, Drake, and even Justin Bieber enjoys the drink so much, they made songs about the use.

There are former users coming out and speaking against the use of the drink. XXLMag.com reports, “Lil Boosie is no longer a fan of the substance, recently stating that he “nearly died three or four time from drinking lean”. He also believes that the drank has “****ed up a lot of rappers and the culture of hip hop.”

Boosie also says “Once you on, it’s hard to get off. It’s damn near impossible.” Years later lost half of his kidney during cancer surgery. The artist also spoke on the fact that he feels that the use of lean may have added to the trouble with his kidneys.

People hardly think of the consequences when they are not eating healthy and they're contributing for extensive drinking and drug use. In the past five years, over 10 people in the culture of hip-hop has lost their lives due to poor health choices.

One mogul took a stand in changing that with his brand. In the year of 2012, Eminem was the executive producer of the hip-hop super group SlaughterHouse’s album “Welcome to: Our House”. During the time of making the album, Eminem wanted to group to stay focused and have not only a clean mind-state but also start living a clean lifestyle.

Royce Da 5’9’s manager Brian “B-Love” Horn stated, “At the time of recording the album, Marshall wanted all of the guys to do this record with a clear state of mind. Since Marshall was clean, he wanted his artists to work not only as better artists by being clean, but to also just better themselves as a whole. At the end of the day it all worked for everyone’s well being. It got to the point that in the past there were bottles of Goose and fried chicken wings in the studio. Now it's bottles of Poland Springs Water and grilled chicken caesar salads.”

When asked about his person dedication to living a healthy lifestyle, Brian stated, “I have never drink or smoked anything in my life, but I love food. I knew I had to change my lifestyle because diabetes runs in my family and my mother died from a heart attack when I was a teenager. I also have a great support team that was able help me with the transition of wanting to change my diet and work out more.”

On a very positive note, there are people in the culture of hip-hop that are not only taking a stand again bad health choices, but are engaging with the community about healthy living. In the year of 2015, hip hop artists David “Styles P” Styles and Jason “Jadakiss” Phillips from the group The LOX, came up with an idea to open a juice bar to encourage healthy eating and drinking.

EliteDaily.com reported, Through their chain of juice bars "Juices for Life" , The LOX members are looking to provide a much-needed place for low-income neighborhoods to consume something good for them. These neighborhoods are often referred to as “food deserts”, since access to nutritional food is virtually non existent.

Styles P said, “In the poorer communities, mostly, the money gets invested in liquor stores and the kind of things we don’t need”. Jadakiss and Styles P are leading by example and looking to put an end to food deserts through their Juices For Life locations, but they are not alone.

Many people in the hip hop community are making the choice to stand out from the rest and to teach the community that it is ok to be in the culture and still live a healthy lifestyle. They are removing the sterotypes that society says about living healthy. Jay-Z has became a vegan, 50 Cent invested into his own brand of Vitamin Water, and Joell Ortiz decided put down the glass of Jack Daniels and the pack of Newports because he wanted to change his lifestyle to teach others this is not a fad in the culture. This is a way to start a new beginning... mentally, spiritually, and physically.