Kamaiyah, a Bay Area sensation and one of the few XXL Freshman cover selections who deserved the magazine's pedestal in 2017, was a guest on Mass Appeal's Open Space series this week, fielding questions about collaborating with YG, a surprise visit from Drake in the wee hours of the morning, and hip-hop's current drug culture.
"I feel like a lot of young kids are miserable, though. And they're doing [drugs] to look cool. It's weird," said Kamaiyah, after revealing she leads a mostly sober lifestyle. "All you niggas gon' sip lean? All you niggas gon pop Xanax? You gon sniff all these pills and powder and shit together? Then you wonder why you kinda slow and boring on stage? C'mon, bro, you killing yourself. Slow down. And you're so young! Why are you a fucking addict? Live life. You 17. You haven't even experienced no real problems yet. Imagine waking up with two kids and no money in your pocket and the lights off. That's a problem."
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Kamaiyah's blanket statement that a 17-year-old is not old enough to have experienced "real problems" is a gross and completely unfair generalization, but the rest of her commentary holds a lot of weight. In addition to slowly killing vital organs and brain cells, recreationally popping pills and drinking lean can greatly affect an artist's ability to deliver a great stage show.
And it's not just young artists like Lil Pump and their fans, either. Fredo Santana, 27, is a staunch defender of Xanax abuse and, as of this writing, is in the hospital recovering from liver and kidney failure; Young Thug, 26, has been drinking lean for years, and it has already started to cause alarming side effects; and Lil Wayne, 35, has been experiencing seizures for years, the result of epilepsy and reported repeated lean abuse, which has forced him to cancel shows altogether.
Kamaiyah joins a growing list of artists, which includes Ty Dolla $ign and SZA, who have publicly denounced the abuse of these drugs over the past few months. Hopefully, this list will continue to grow.