With the death of Lil Peep, the many are looking at the scourge of addiction in the hip-hop world. While addiction has certainly been a problem among rappers, there are some who are straight edge, and some who have gotten sober. Vic Mensa is one rapper who struggled with addiction and made it out the other side.

Mensa is from Chicago, and he first broke through with his mixtape, Innanetape, in 2013. He was discovered by Jay Z, and he would also receive a writing credit on Kanye West’s song “All Day,” which scored a Grammy nomination. But Mensa wasn’t well, and as he told Page Six, “I was in a downward spiral with drug abuse. What started off as fun became a dependency. I would completely exhaust one drug, be it mushrooms or acid. Then I’d find a new one, be it snorting Adderall or molly.”

For many artists, their work can be a great outlet when they’re recovering. Mensa wrote about struggling with addiction on his first album, TheAutobiography, and it was not only a confession about his past struggles but also a way to keep himself in touch with his sobriety. “In many ways, I’d forgotten who I was because I was spending so little time with my un-influenced self. I was always in a fog and I couldn’t find clarity. The best way to deal with it was to make music about it.”

Meditation is also one of the ways Mensa maintains his sobriety, which he says “helps me be the master of my own mind.” He also hopes to have a family one day. “It’s something I aspire to.”


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