Lil Peep’s untimely death has sparked more conversations about drug abuse and mental health. The 21-year-old rapper died earlier this month from a suspected overdose of fentanyl-laced drugs—a tragedy that has shed light on the opioid epidemic and the glorification of prescription drugs in mainstream culture.
In a new interview with Billboard, Vic Mensa spoke about the issue of substance abuse and whom he believes should be held accountable. The Chicago rapper questioned why drug manufacturers and doctors aren’t taking more of the blame.
"I have a lot of personal experience bouncing around between psychiatrists and therapists and being fed pills, while at the same time being told that if I don’t stop doing drugs I’m gonna ruin my life. They act like what they’re giving us is not drugs," he said. "[…] I really start to ask, like, at what point and time do we start holding the manufacturers of Xanax accountable? The prescribers of Xanax and Percocet, at what point and time do the people that literally make these products in labs and mass produce them—when are these people criminals?"
He continued: "They are making the murder weapon, and there’s no way I can propose that this is the most effective, logical treatment for these mental illnesses."
Vic seems fully aware that this is a complex issue with many factors. He even suggested hip-hop artists, including himself, have contributed to this epidemic by glorifying it in their art. Vic admitted he regrets ever referencing prescription drugs in his music.
"To be honest, it’s like, on one hand I almost don’t even feel that I have a right to chastise anybody because I’ve fucking done it […] I regret it. I don’t rap about it anymore, but I have some lines about taking Xanax," he said. "I just think that we’re in such a dangerous place now because it’s been normalized and the drug abuse has been reduced to like a marketing tactic. You got Future talking about, ‘I just rap about drugs because I know that’s what sells, that’s what people want to hear.’ While people are overdosing left and right. It’s really representative of the state of the nation, but it’s also horribly irresponsible because you got kids that idolize these people and will do anything they do. They’re being misled but their fucking heroes and getting addicted to Xans or Percocets and dying from them. So, it’s pretty fucked."
You can read Vic’s full interview—in which he also speaks about the NRA, meditation, and more—at Billboard’s website.