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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  • Jennifer

    yep, rappers and the vast majority of black males in America…i guess it’s too emasculating to ask for help, better to be hard and go out like a “real” man

  • http://www.ohword.com R.H.S.

    This is seriously the worst hip hop related blog on the internet. Just quit.

  • I Fux

    DMX is hilarious, he slap the shit out of his wife and then hold her hand and pray for her because God keeps telling him to slap her and she doesnt understand how to shut up and let God talk to her…. dude once said he likes Pit-Bulls because you can beat the shit out of them but they will still love you unconditionally and will die for you, then he said my wife is like a Pit-Bull

  • I Fux

    ^ first Hoes and More Hoes

  • http://www.myspace.com/djanalogue A^G

    A few comments spring to mind:

    1) Common’s got a track about the places drug/ alcohol abuse can take you – “Book of Life” on “Resurrection”. “I can’t recall a day without being intoxicated/ or blowed/ I’m dealing with a full deck and any day I could fold”

    2) Yeah, I can imagine 50 being the untreatable type… I worked on a mental health ward briefly and I’ve seen that same swagger in one of the more manipulative patients.

    3) I’ve had alcohol-related gout before briefly – and my mate managed to cripple himself with it for several weeks despite only being 21! We know how (not?) to drink in the UK.

  • Danja29

    oh, about the 50 coke thing- that can actually happen. i know someone who was baggin’ shit up for someone else and he tested positive for coke at his job- and he def. didn’t use it cause he knew they tested every other week. If it’s potent enough, seeps thru the bags and gets absorbed by the pores in your skin.

  • Mikey Ess AKA SukedowN

    Rappers are vain as fukc. the don’t want to show weakness. There aren’t even two sides to this issue.

    Pimp C raps about his usage:
    “I’m just a junkie from the hood, with some dick if ya good”

    I don’t feel like looking it up but i think its from “Let Me See It”

  • Whoa

    It’s not like crackheads are known for their reliability

    u bicth.DMX iz da shit. look in da mirror ho u aint to good lookin yourself u fuckin bicth ass slut FUck u and ya columun it not like nigga really read u gay ass garbage u thorw out here we be readin sickamore and bol FUCK U

  • http://www.byron.com bol

    bank of america

  • pop a poppa

    if not gout how bout some corns?

  • thoreauly77

    woah- seriously, if you dont like her column, go somewhere else. and tara, lets just add this disdain for re-hab in the hip-hop community to the other myriad retardisms, such as:
    1. rampant misogyny
    2. glorification of drugs/violoence
    3. homophobia
    4. snap music

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    i’m gonna say this… black men don’t go to rehab for the same reason they don’t go to the psychiatrist… it’s perceived as “white people shit”. i hate to bring racism into this, but i know not many black people who are like “yo i went to the shrink today”… they might do rehab if they are junkies avoiding jail time (cough 50 cough), but if a nigga has an addiction to heron, more than likely he’s just addicted and not fucking with any clinic.

    just how it goes.


    DMX just lost a fan…shits fucked up what he did to dem niggaz in Iraq

    ODb, flava flav both went 2 rehab

  • Nelson Abbey

    “It’s not like crackheads are known for their reliability.” Horrible, just horrible. This girl tries to claim the moral highground then pulls stunts like this. Wrong. This shouldnt be accepted by us.

    What makes the matter even worse is that after all of this type of painful talk she tries to come back with some condescending message/questioning about abuse habits in hip-hop.

    Let me tell you something, not making excuses for anyone, but before DMX is a rapper he is actually a black man. I am confident that you hide behind the guise of “hip-hop” to ensure that no one calls you out as holding prejudices. I see right through you. The Crack epidemic has been the scorn of the black community in America. Just look at it, the 40 years between the end of World War 2 and the beginning of the crack epidemic the black community excelled to amazing heights. Crack, which is a tremendously addictive drug (which actually leaves the addict thinking primarilty/only about their next dose/hit) destroyed the black community by making it very numb to all sorts of negativity (violence, prostition, drug dealing, murder for profit, etc), alot of this numbness has now become glorified/immortalised in rap songs. A crack addict may not know it but he/she is actually a victim, and is in serious need of help. Not insults from people that dont have a clue about this.

    Another point that people may not know, but statistically, thanks to the crack epidemic, it was actually safer for a black person to be on deathrow (awaiting death as a punishment, not the record label…obviously… i hope) then it was for them to be on the streets or in the projects. YEP. They had a greater chance of getting killed in streets than they would on deathrow!

    Hip-Hop may indeed unite us as races but please dont get carried away, we dance to the same music/embrace the same culture (when it is convinient to do so) but we dont share the same pain/history. Case in point, i’m a 26 year old black man, i happen to be a chartered accountant. And I work for the largest accountancy firm in the world. For the meantime i cannot stop being associated with the negativity of rap music or hip-hop regardless of what i do or how i carry myself, due to my age and race combined. Believe you me, you can throw on a suit tommorrow and walk in any office and no one will say a damn word to you about why rappers use the word “bitch” etc. And i’m from the UK!

    Ever wondered what seperates Eminem from most ‘famous rappers’? You guessed it! As much as you would like to conviniently hide behind teh guise of hip-hop once the beat stops you go back to being who you are and i do the same thing. Eminem is a product of his environment. He’s a white male, other than being a rapper, he does things the average white male does. Such as go to rehab etc. DMX is a product of his environment. For the most part, the trend is that black folk dont do the whole shrink/rehab thing, which is a shame if you ask me. But it is what it is.

    Crack is a serious problem and not punch line fodder, especially not for you Tara.

    You owe DMX an apology. You owe us all an apology Tara. Dont diss us, do what i do, spend your spare time trying to help some of these people.

  • Nelson Abbey


    Just incase anyone feels like getting at me, thats my myspace address. Peace!

  • http://www.myspace.com/writeonpointmagazine janice

    Nelson Abbey you’re making excuses. At the end of the day Tara’s right! There are rappers out there who have serious drug problems, and who suffer from depression and mental illness. DMX is one them. He needs to get treatment, the man’s a mess has been for years, and doesn’t seem to want to do anything about his deteriorating condition. Yes crack is a very serious problem but it’s about time DMX got off his 34 year old backside and sort help

  • Dame Don

    You spit that fire Nelson Abbey, the truth. How dare this girl call X a crackhead? He has helped you get to where you are! Get the fuck out of here! Know how many magazine’s X sold for XXL? And then you turn around and call him a crackhead? Let’s hope that your issues dont become public knowledge one day. Byatch!

  • Mikey Ess AKA SukedowN

    Unless someone forced the crack pipe into his mouth, I don’t know why you would feel sorry DMX/any other crack head.

  • Kid Wave

    I agree with Janice, get off your ass a get some help. People are making alot of
    money off him making an ass of himself.

  • killabees

    Tara, you need to speak on what you know and not what you hear.
    Have you ever been friends witha person that is addicted to crack? Do you know what life is like for that person and there family?
    Dont insult DMX for his sins. We all have faults and we should try to help our people over come them and not cast judgements on them.

  • DocZeus

    You know I think the disdain for weakness in hip hop culture permeates to the disconnect alot people have for the promotion of activities(violence, misogyny, homophobia, drug dealing, etc.) that destroy peoples lives. I find it distasteful with hip hop’s obsession with crack rap despite the fact, cocaine has ripped apart the hip hop community.

  • TARA

    Actually, I have. I watched a friend die over his addiction a while back, which is why I think rehab is a topic that needs airing out.


    Yeah, as it turns out, there’s drugs up here in Canada too.

  • NIckeNitro

    “woah- seriously, if you dont like her column, go somewhere else. and tara, lets just add this disdain for re-hab in the hip-hop community to the other myriad retardisms, such as:
    1. rampant misogyny
    2. glorification of drugs/violoence
    3. homophobia
    4. snap music ”

    C. Delores, is that you? Woah, seriously, if you don’t like rap music…

    Anyway, with regards to this post, I don’t really know about DMX’s problems and don’t really care – they’re his business, not mine – but isn’t it possible that more rappers aren’t checking into rehab because they DON’T have problems? Why make an assumption that more rappers have crack/drug problems than you here about? They only ground I can see you basing the assumption on is race, and that’s not only bigoted, it’s hyprocritical coming from a “hip-hop columnist.”

    Can’t you see that the reason we’re constantly hearing about the “negative aspects of hip-hop culture” is because the media is racist and loves to use these things to perpetuate racial stereotypes in society?

    As a hip-hop columnist, you have a responsibility to counter the whole blame game and not get caught up the racist media’s attempts to cast a bad light on hip-hop and black people in general.

    And, really, c’mon now. Most of these celebrity “rehab” clinics are high-class rackets and most of the celebs checking in are doing it as a publicity stunt.

    And if rappers like DMX and 50 Cent don’t fit your ideal personality type, wouldn’t it be more productive to write about the rappers that do rather than wasting a colmn complaining and whining about them?

    There are plenty of rappers that could really use the publicity from your column that don’t talk about the “negative” things you have so much disdain for. But instead of highlighting their work to your aduience, you opt to use your column to give more publicity to those doing negative things. Makes me wonder if you’re just part of the whole “paint black people in a bad light” media circle.

  • NIckeNitro

    Also, if you’ve been following the news at all lately, the majority of US troops currently in Iraq are Neo-Nazis and have been defacing Baghdad with swastika graffiti. They’re mostly there because they view it as an opportunity to learn advanced military techniques and an opportunity to kill brown people. Especially after that whole rape incident, I wouldn’t want to entertain these bigots either (especially considering that the US military as an institution has historically been more racist than even the US police force). Certainly that’s worth getting all up in arms about more than 50 Cent’s use of a naughty potty word like ‘bitch’.

  • H-man

    Do they have a clinic 4 not bein able 2 stop grabin my unit??? lololol any thing in excess amount stumbles on abuse…

  • killabees

    Actually, I have. I watched a friend die over his addiction a while back, which is why I think rehab is a topic that needs airing out.

    Tara, Im glad your airing it out but the way you put X out there was wrong.
    So if you knew someone that had died i figure you would know that crack is serious and not to fuck around about it! You should also know that the goverment put out crack to the black community as a way to lower the black population and discredit. As a white women you should understand your words are being read by people whos familys have been torn apart by the white man and his crack.



  • killabees



    Calm down? Im calm, thanks. Clowning on X is fucking around. I bet if she was in front of X she wouldn’t have said any of that slick shit to him about is addiction. All im saying is X is a real street dude and he has real street problems. Drugs are a real problem in the hood and some white girl shouldnt be cracking jokes about it ESPECALLY about a artist like X. Who has put out music that has helped me threw some real rough times.

    About rehab shit isnt realistic for men like X. Its not pride or whatever you wanna make it.
    If someone is going to beat the addiction is has to come from themself and god.



  • che

    >I read in 50’s bio that he went to rehab—but apparently he only went to avoid jail time.

    either way dude musta got probed in the crack. pun intended.

  • che

    ey, thats outta order ‘whoa’ i would fuck the shit outta tara.

  • che

    but it’d have to be real dark.

  • Kid Wave

    I really dont think anybody was exposed to DMX problems through this article that was not aware before. Everytime X steps out of line it is up on all of the websites and in MTV news almost instantaneously. Bol could have typed this article and it would not have been an issue.

  • Jay

    Who gives a fuck if the nigga sang for the troops? Yeah white girl, kick the man when he’s down while defending the rights of nerd-femcees not to hear the word ‘tit’. I ignored that one, but with this added to it, dam.
    You got the last click I’ll ever give you. Wish I could have that shit back too.

  • Big Jake

    i wanna hear more about how “the government” put crack SPECIFICALLY in black communities. its always easier to say that, than to say that black people are more succeptable to addiction isnt it?

  • XRAY3000

    Yea X kinda let me down with that move…You forgot to add that Bizzy-Bone once checked in to rehab also :I went to Detox with two pair of Reeboks:

  • http://rockthedub.blogspot.com khal

    how is Tara putting DMX on blast? She isn’t the one putting that jig on BET in a reality show… HE PUT HIMSELF ON BLAST!

    And I still think race plays a part in rehab and shit.

  • DJ Lucky Luke

    I think WHOA is a crackhead, himself. In my 23 years on Earth and 2 years on Marijuana, I’ve never seen a more incoherent stain of babble than this: “it not like nigga really read u gay ass garbage u thorw out here.” I’d beat the fuck out of an ignorant brother like you while reading you the definition of stupidity from the Webster’s Dictionary, then ask you if you would like the word in a sentence. The lady on the Tribe CD says you’re not less of a man for going to rehab and you’re not more of a man for skipping it. Kids, take note…

  • NIckeNitro

    Big Jake, you ignorant fool, it would be more clear and concise if you simply would type “KKK 4 Life”, then hit submit comment.

    The CIA is the specific wing of the government responsible for introducing crack to poor black neighborhoods. Like Papoose spit, we’ve got “government generals gradually generating genocide.” Just look at Katrina. Just look at AIDS.

    Or would you care to cite a specific scientific study concluding that black americans are more susceptible to addiction to support your “theory.”

  • anti rap/ REAL HIPHOP

    The most significant aspect of this piece is a miss print in my opinion. I agree, plenty of “rappers” need rehab, intervention or whatever else you think that can restore what little soul they didn’t pawn to enter the rap industry. Basically, lost souls headed for the grave in waves and trying to take our youth with them. My problem is you said hip-hop has a substance abuse problem and nothing could be further from the truth. Hip-Hop does not have a substance abuse problem or any other type of problem for that matter. This is just another instance of main stream america getting rap music and Hip-Hop misconstrued.

  • killabees

    NIckeNitro ^^ i co sign.
    Nuff said.

  • anti rap/ REAL HIPHOP

    Big Jake Says:

    August 28th, 2006 at 1:35 am
    i wanna hear more about how “the government” put crack SPECIFICALLY in black communities. its always easier to say that, than to say that black people are more succeptable to addiction isnt it?

    Whether some one is more susceptible to an addiction is really irrelevant to the issue at hand. The government supposedly controls the US air space and ports so how can you not hold them accountable for all drug epidemics in this country?

  • http://www.hiphop-blogs.com Hashim

    half of Wu Tang has admitted to drug problems.

  • tHe tRaNsIeNt

    ‘sup tara baby

  • Global Macro

    [i]R.H.S. Says:

    August 25th, 2006 at 5:28 pm
    This is seriously the worst hip hop related blog on the internet. Just quit. [/i]

    i don’t know… have you read tom breihan’s blog

  • Fernando

    Sounds like whoa is a DMX weed carrier / nut-holder. That fool X looks like he has more crack than a sidewalk. DMX……IS A CRACK HEAD.

  • http://hgh.lx.ro human growth hormone

    The decreased level of human growth hormone is the primary reason for stunted healing in elderly individuals.

  • alleyeCNtower

    y’all can’t blame Tara for DMX’s crack addiction, or blame her for speaking about it. she’s not the first, and cats like Star and Buc Wild been doing shit like this for years and people don’t say shit.

    DMX ain’t the only addict in hip hop, and this shit is a serious problem in our culture. And the fact that nobody seems man enough to admit they need detox (except for Dr Dre whenever that album comes, LOL) is some serious self-destruction.

    cats wanna big up the Rick Ross’s of rap, but what about his whole community of crack customers? does he deserve props for that too?

    it’s so deep that pointing fingers at people who really aren’t the problem is just a waste of time.

    it’s time to tell the truth about people, so everyone can start healing.

  • thoreauly77

    tara, where did you go? balance this place out please.

  • http://XXL Ceza

    crack blacks, coke whites, herion bi-racial, e-pills whites, weed both races. Cross-cultured. The dumbing down of our society has begun. Sit back and enjoy the show. Let the rich get richer & the poor get poorer. Sit back and watch the fantastic scenes of LA’s Skid Row…

  • http://XXL Ceza

    Blame the real Rick Ross, the CIA George Bush SR. THE Reagan Administration. The Contra’s were funded by the CIA to help spread the crack epidemic throughout the US starting her out WEST in LA. If people are considered underclassed and treated less than inhumane the people are going to do what they know. It is very very sad but instead of looking down on these individuals we need to help them out. Talk to them. RAP is strictly entertainment but sometimes art imitates reality. I know alot of cats who sell drugs and actually become addicts of the death they sell. For example a former member of Cash money openly admitted that although he has stripes and was known as the man in the NO streets became addicted to the poison he was selling to inject into the fiends arms…

  • http://XXL BLAQ


  • ramona

    joe budden openly and often talks about rehab and therapy in his songs and interviews.. that the writer is so shocked that rappers dont address this is suprising – PEOPLE and especially men dont deal with this- at all- no matter what their profession


    russel simmons met slick rick in a rehab.Drugs are nothing to fuck with.If u r on drugs CONTROL YOURE SUBSTANCE. The nigga old dirty said ne wasent the same without em. As soon as he was off parole he left us.
    All this shit leads to nothing.Keep it occasional.Control Youre substance!Drugs aways win unless you find better shit to do in life.Piff, coke, E is all the same .Hangover addiction and money spent.Control youre substance.

  • Hannah Smith

    “This is seriously the worst hip hop related blog on the internet. Just quit.”


  • Toothpick

    Don’t forget Bobby and Whitney