To hear the stories of hip-hop's recent Soundscan troubles, you'd think that the entire record industry is in some sort of funk, but that's not really the case. While it's true they aren't selling as many CDs as they used to, the record industry is making more money than ever once you factor in digital downloads.

The Dixie Chicks are moving major units (nullus), and they can't even get their shit played on the radio. Rap, meanwhile, has its own station, and it still can't sell shit. Obviously the main issue is that the music sucks balls, but I wonder how that came to be the case. Could it be that rap has a nasty drug problem?

Substance abuse, to be sure, has been an integral part of hip-hop ever since the beginning. Indeed it can be argued that gettin' fucked up is a more key element to hip-hop culture than graffiti art, or as I like to call it, vandalism. Still, substance abuse in hip-hop goes beyond your typical joint and a tall boy of malt liquor, which I consider almost healthy.

I should've known something was up a few years ago when Irv Gotti got caught walking around with exctasy pills and Viagra. Why would a guy who's only like 30 need to take a pill to get his joint hard? Lord knows I have a hard enough time keeping my shit not hard. With the magic that is today's technology, it's a wonder I get any work done.

Another rapper, whose name management doesn't like me to mention, had an incident in a shopping mall with a fur coat (in the middle of the summer), some PCP, and an AK-47. Said rapper claims he was being assaulted by a large group of people, but it's worth noting that security footage of this incident has yet to be released to the media.

Fatlip from the Pharcyde, at the height of his cocaine addiction, once accidentally sucked a guy's dick, as revealed in the hilarious Spike Jonze documentary "What's Up, Fatlip?" Granted, I've never heard of a little cocaine making a guy suck another guy's dick on accident, but the fact remains: Drug abuse is no laughing matter.

A few other rappers I'm concerned about (feel free to add on in the comments):

DMX (again, peep the new SMACK DVD)

Snoop Dogg (supposedly, he spends $1,000 a day on weed)

BG (people don't move to Detroit for the weather)

Dallas Austin (smuggling coke into Dubai?)

It's notable that most of these people haven't had hits in quite some time. You have to wonder if hip-hop would be in the state that it's in, both artistically and commercially, if so many rappers weren't so fucked up on drugs.