‘Girl, why you gotta do so many drugs?’: Drug culture in music and on campus

Graphic by Nina Potischman

Jimothy Lacoste is a rising indie rapper out of North London — but, of course, he represents much more than that.

He, like all of us, is built of contradictions; he’s a rap artist, but his music could also fall into the category of grime. You can never pinpoint whether or not his lyrics are deeply serious, or entirely satirical.

He almost reminds me of a sloppily written YA romance heartthrob, whose vision of love isn’t a picnic with strawberries and champagne, or a long hug after a hard night, but rather “shopping at Waitrose every single day.”

However, what’s most out of character from the rest of Jimothy’s persona is this: He is vehemently anti-drugs.

“Drugs,” one of his first singles released, opens with an almost stripped down disco. It sounds like what I’d imagine the pounding in your head sounds like the day after you drank too much — like day-old glitter eyeliner. And then, with his thick North London accent, Jimothy enters the song, asking the question the rest of his lyrics go on to explore: “Girl, why you gotta do so many drugs?”

Over my first few weeks at Pitzer College, I’ve found myself wondering the same — albeit somewhat judgemental — question. Maybe it’s coming to California, maybe it’s attending Pitzer, but it felt like everyone I spoke to had found that weed was the cure for all of life’s problems. I began to think: If getting high could cure my social anxiety, take away the pain of a stubbed toe, and make eating — an activity I already love — more fun, then I had to try it.

So last weekend, I rejected the life advice I had been given by my square parents, I threw away the musical wisdom of Jimothy’s drugs, and I decided to give into the image I thought might finally make me feel like I fit in: I decided to become a stoner.

My friends told me that if I smoked indica, it wouldn’t make me paranoid because it was more of a “body high,” which didn’t really mean anything to me. I had never gotten high, so my conception of body high was simply my muscles feeling incredibly relaxed.

Instead, I spent two hours feeling the happiest I have in my life. I texted every group chat I had ever been in something extremely sentimental (examples: “We are really the energy America needs,” “The luv you 2 have for each other is what I aspire to every day”). And somehow, I ended up hysterically crying at 4 a.m., because I felt as though my innocence had been lost.

This is also when I decided to call my dad and tell him that a) my childhood was over, and b) I was high. One could describe that moment as a personal low, or they could say that it allowed me to understand both Jimothy and his music better.

As I found myself all alone, crying for absolutely no reason while wandering through the freshman dorms, I couldn’t help but hear Jimothy singing in my ear: “Why you gotta do so many drugs, many drugs?”

Anna Koppelman is a first-year at Pitzer. You can either find her reading poetry, hanging out with friends, or ranting about how long it’s taken for Vampire Weekend to release a new album.

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