Losing Legends

Many rappers and rock stars die at quite young ages, why could this be?

Lil Peep before he passed away due to a fentanyl overdose.

Pitchfork

Lil Peep before he passed away due to a fentanyl overdose.

According to The Scotsman, the term 27 Club was created after Kurt Kobain died in 1994. The term refers to a large number of musicians who have died at the age of 27. This term originated in reference to rockstars, but more recently, we’ve also seen rappers die at this age. Some of the world’s most influential artists have been taken far too early because of this so-called phenomenon. What causes this tragedy?? How do we bring it to an end?

Substance abuse is a common cause of death for members of the 27 Club. Janis Joplin and Jean Michel Basquiat both accidentally overdosed on heroin, and Amy Winehouse passed due to alcohol intoxication. Robert Johnson died from pneumonia and strychnine poisoning days after drinking from an open bottle of whiskey. Substances were a prominent cause of death for rock stars in the 1900s, but substance abuse is still taking the lives of some of our favorite artists today.

Gustav Elijah Åhr (Lil Peep), was killed by an accidental fentanyl overdose. Jarad Anthony Higgins (Juice Wrld) died after having a seizure caused by acute oxycodone and codeine intoxication. Malcolm James McCormick (Mac Miller) died by an accidental fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol overdose. Drugs are apparent in today’s rap community just as they were in the Rock community years ago.

Selena with her Grammy for best Mexican/Mexican-American Album. (Republic World)

Rap music has definitely impacted the lives of many Liberty Students. Rapper and rap fan, Kalvin, 12, shared his theories about the 27 Club, “I definitely don’t think it’s a coincidence,” Kalvin states. “I think it’s something genuinely wrong in the rap community. Cause if you think about it, it’s just a big loop…I’d say it started in the 90s, [when] those kids were listening to rap, then we got into the 2000s, now those kids are rapping, now we’re in the 10s, those kids are rapping it now. So it’s just a big loop of people wanting to do these ‘cool’ things like drugs and getting into crime.”

Obviously, drugs aren’t the only cause of this phenomenon. The constant performance and the pressure of being an influencer can be mentally draining for celebrities. The number of musicians whose lives have been lost due to suicide is extreme. Tupac was killed by a gang because he had attacked one of their members. Selena was killed by a former fan club leader.

Young deaths are a recurring issue in the music industry, especially among rap artists and rockstars. ely alarming. One of the major examples of this was Kurt Kobain. Kobain had a hard childhood and also struggled with drug use throughout his life. Kobain was found in his guest house after committing suicide on April 5th, 1994.

Another related cause of young deaths is murder.

“In the simplest way,” explains Kalvin, “I think a lot of what we talk about is the big culprit because what goes around comes around. If you’re on the internet talking about certain things, those certain things will come to you.”

A lot of rappers especially are known for having big egos. They often like to flaunt what they have, which can cause jealousy from fans and listeners. Musicians have a lot of attention drawn to them, so if they’re rapping or singing about something people don’t agree with, that can cause tension as well.

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