ALLTTA (20 SYL & MR. J. MEDEIROS) - "DRUGS"
From the bouncing beat to the gospel echoes, “Drugs” by AllttA is your summer starter for sure. As soon as the lyrics begin, you instantly hear a mix of Bryce Vine’s “Sour Patch Kids”, accompanied by Sammy Adams “I Love College”. AllttA, which is comprised of Los Angeles rapper “Mr. J. Medeiros” (Jason Christopher Medeiros) and French rapper, DJ, and producer “20syl” (Sylvain Richard), keeps listeners intrigued throughout the song, both rhythmically and lyrically.
The beat is catchy, as are the words; as it chronics the rapper’s experiences with smoking marijuana and the status associated with it, within the rap game. There are a lot of great one-liners in this song both in support of, and against smoking. Medeiros even pokes fun at himself and his fear of trying the ganja; “Man I did it so late/ I was almost 30/ Truthfully/ I was scared/ Since D.A.R.E. I thought it’d hurt me/ Truthfully/ I was prepared to be in my underwear, singin’, surfin’/ All I got was really hungry, self aware, and thirsty”.
One aspect of this song that I like is the honest confession and analyzation of rappers and their status via drug use. Only after years does Medeiros realize the “game” some rappers were really trying to play; “Now I laugh a bit/ Reminding me of rappers back in ’96 with flat brim hats and fake accents from NY and shit/ Tryin’ to be the passers of blunts/ But I denied them it/ Then they ask why I front like I’m a rapper and that I’m a b***h/ But I’m a rapper who’s blunt/ I mean up front/ When it’s time for it/ they were just good at wrappin’ blunts/ And couldn’t rhyme for shit/ It’s like they relied on it/ Their whole image a lie/ And it’s the reason when I paint you an image you can’t hide from it”.
Following this, Mr. J Medeiros clarifies and reinforces his stance on drug use, a slight change in the tempo adds attention to his words; “I will find my own way…Now I do not do drugs/ Guess I don’t give a f**k/ Bit I know a few who use/ Who have to give it up/ But I know a few who use/ ‘Cause they sick as f**k/ But I know a few who just do/ Not too trivial…”.
The next few lines give a powerful contrast to the legalization debate; “My homie who had cancer/ True/ He had to give a nut/ Plus he had that flu bug/ Everything he chewed was up/ You know half the answer came from just a few puffs/ If you ain’t got the answers/ Cool, then why would you judge/ Homegirl had a tumour/ Now she has to do without/ A part of her brain/ For her pain pharmaceuticals/ She used to misuse them/ True/ Til’ she threw them out so she burns a few nugs/ Who are you accusing?” . I’m glad Medeiros recognized and mentions this category of users, as they’re the ones who are affected most by the changing laws. For some, to use is not a choice, rather a healthier alternative to harder, more addictive pharmaceuticals.
An interesting point is brought up in the final verse that often remains undiscussed when trying to find solutions for addiction within the medical sector; “Now I ain’t talking coke/ ‘Cause that’s some dumb ass sh*t/ Or when you smoke until you uhhh, dumb as shit/ But what about those white coats/ Type that only write notes to get you high off their stash Nasdaq shit…” . Bringing to light the issue of addiction vs. profit within the healthcare system. How does a patient know if their best interests really are at heart.
I find a major focus on the lyrics in this song. There are so many impactful and thought-provoking lines, and of course Medeiros ends the track in the same style. Offering no direct advice or judgement, just his ‘suggestions’; “I ain’t tryin’ to scare you/ But dare you to question/ I’m saying just be careful/ If there’s a suggestion/ Either way, there’s a lesson/ It was just a suggestion/ What you do or not do/ Just because it was mentioned/ That’s the sh*t that men shun/ That ain’t the shit that I do/ My life is just different man/ I ain’t gotta be like you”.
Give the tune a listen and form your own opinion. This is a song that I think people on many levels can relate to. Stay up-to-date on AllttA and their latest releases on their Soundcloud and Facebook pages.