Addiction is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Fame, money, and talent don’t immunize anyone from falling into the sunken place that is drug and alcohol abuse.
Rappers, like all of us, can struggle with abuse, and celebrity drug deaths like these are a stark reminder that the struggle is real.
We put together a list of celebrity overdoses featuring rappers who died too young. Keep reading in remembrance of these great talents.
1. Mac Miller
Mac Miller’s battle with addiction was far from private. He detailed his drug use and depression in his music, and his honesty won him fans around the world including some of the biggest names in hip-hop.
On 7 September 2018, paramedics found Miller at home and unresponsive and soon declared him dead at age 26.
An autopsy revealed that Miller’s death was the result of “mixed toxicity.” He had alcohol, cocaine, and fentanyl in his system when he was found at home in LA.
Miller told reporters that he never tried rehab.
If you recognize yourself in Mac Miller’s music and think you might need help, read more about the benefits of rehab.
2. Lil Peep
Lil Peep, whose career as a rapper was about to take off, was confirmed dead on November 16th, 2017 at age 21.
Lil Peep, whose legal name was Gustav Ahr, was a New York rapper whose tracks detailed his attempts to manage depression with prescription drugs. Hours before he died, Lil Peep posted a video online and shared that he had taken a cocktail of prescription drugs and other substances.
It is unknown whether Lil Peep’s death was an accident, but it is clear that he was on the brink of changing hip-hop and becoming music royalty.
On 16 October 2010, Minneapolis’s rap scene lost a promising talent in Mikey (Eyedea) Larsen.
Larsen died of opiate toxicity–an accident. His mother said her son did not suffer from addiction, and the coroner did not release the details of the drugs found in Larsen’s system.
Larsen was a master musician. He was one half of Eyedea and Abilities, a hip-hop duo that toured with homegrown Minneapolis legend Atmosphere. He also led a Face Candy, a freestyle jazz group, and Carbon Carousel, a rock act.
4. Old Dirty Bastard (O.D.B.)
Russell Jones a.k.a. Old Dirty Bastard a.k.a. O.D.B. was an original member of the Wu-Tang Clan and a wild card.
O.D.B. collapsed in the recording studio in November 2004, only two days before his birthday. An autopsy revealed the cause of death as an accidental drug overdose.
5. Chris Kelly
An Atlanta medical examiner investigator revealed that Chris Kelly, who performed as part of Kris Kross, died of a drug overdose on May 1st, 2013.
Kelly, also known as “Mac Daddy,” performed with his bandmate Chris Smith as part of the 1990s hip-hop staple Kris Kross.
The medical examiner declined to reveal the drugs found in Kelly’s system. However, his mother said Kelly struggled with drug abuse and had used both heroin and cocaine the evening before he was found dead.
Celebrity Overdoses Remind Us All Addiction Takes No Prisoners
Fame, money, and the love of and adoration of millions of fans were unable to save some of the greatest hip-hop artists of multiple generations from the throes of addiction.
These celebrity overdoses are devastating, but always remember that there is help available.
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