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Pour out a little Henny, here’s to gout in your twenties

I don’t know why anyone was surprised this week when DMX failed to show up to entertain the troops in Iraq. It’s not like crackheads are known for their reliability. His intentions may have been good, but when it comes down to it, he’s probably struggling to remember where he parked his jeep these days—let alone get his shit together to fly to a war-torn country. Instead of doing another prayer circle, someone should do a damn intervention and drag X’s ass to Betty Ford. Lord knows he could use it. Somehow, I just can’t see it happening though.

You hear about rock stars and pop divas and fashion models and Hollywood actors going into treatment all the time—trips to rehab are pretty much de rigueur in most circles of the entertainment industry. Not hip-hop. You almost never hear rappers talking about their substance abuse problems. Dudes will rhyme about slinging crack all day long, but nobody wants to admit to smoking it.

Eminem is the only famous rapper I can think of that’s publicly admitted he had a problem. He even did that morose video for “When I’m Gone” that saw him sharing at a self-help meeting. Dead prez did a track called “Fucked Up” about alcoholism, and Sai-Giddy has that verse about booze on “Pain In My Life.” I read in 50’s bio that he went to rehab—but apparently he only went to avoid jail time. In the book, Fifty admits that the cops found coke in his bloodstream, but maintains that it was just from handling the drugs all the time. That sounds a little suspect to me, but whatever. 50 went on to mock the treatment center, and to claim that he charmed and manipulated the counselors the whole time he was there. Which sounds about right.

Other than those few examples, I can’t think of any other times when rehab has come up. (No doubt there’s more. That’s what you loyal readers are for, no?)

It makes you wonder: are rappers too hard, too image-obsessed—too disdainful of anything that could ever be perceived as corny—to get help when they need it? Is rehab taboo in hip-hop culture?

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