Referencing drug usage in song lyrics is nothing new (“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” basically every Lou Reed song ever recorded) but there seems to be an epidemic of narcotic obsession in current pop music.
Lady Gaga (almost unrecognizable in the photo above) wails about a love she needs more than stimulants in her latest single “Dope.” She even has the trucker cap to prove it.
Miley Cyrus declares “We like to party / dancing with Molly” in her hit “We Can’t Stop.” Because, you know, Hannah Montana will prove to all just how edgee she is.
Basically every single line in Justin Timberlake’s “Pusher Love Girl” references needles, veins, smoke, dealers, blah, blah, blah, thus ODing on the theme to its absolute junkie end. Seriously, JT, we get it.
Lorde’s debut album is called Pure Heroine — hey, great pun, not — which is so crazy creepy considering she’s only 16.
Not one to be left behind, Madonna titled her last album MDNA, a double-entendre for MDMA and Madonna.
I know there are a slew of others — Nicki Minaj “Starships,” Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” every Kesha song there is — these are the ones off the top of my head.
What’s going on? Part of the trend may be mainstream artists’ attempts to demonstrate how gritty and real and “street” they are rather than puppets of the pop industrial complex, or maybe it’s an indication of how widely accepted drug usage — even hard drug usage — has become in American culture. Who isn’t doing drugs? (I’m totally freebasing Elmer’s glue as I write this.) Plus linking a chemical addiction to falling in love has been a staple cliche of songwriting forever.
What do you think? Am I just getting old? (Update: See the post below for confirmation.)