For quite some time, drugs and drug abuse have been all over popular hip-hop records. Artists like Future and Travis Scott mention their usage as influence a whole generation of listeners with their catchy melodies. "I get those goosebumps everytime, I need the Heimlich," is a direct reference to nearly overdosing on opiates, but is one of the hottest songs of the past year. These records are fun to turn up to, but the influence these records and the lifestyle has on the youth always raise concern.
Artists like Smokepurpp are in an interesting position. The 19-year-old rapper was directly influenced by this culture of druggy melodies and grew up dabbling in the lifestyle. I mean, if it wasn't obvious already, his name rap name literally comes from smoking a specific strain of weed. What makes things tricky is that now Purpp is an influencer himself, he has a massive following and diehard fans that plan to imitate most if not all of his actions.
Keeping this all in mind, Purpp's approach to balancing his influence over his young fans and his somewhat dangerous lifestyle is to fully embrace it and keep his fans aware of the consequences of following his actions. Purpp wants his fans to enjoy his music, but also realize that following his footsteps may not pan out the way it has for him. "I'm not glorifying my shit, I'm just telling my story," he says.
With the help of creative directors Raheem Powell and Chad Carrington, Purpp came up with the idea to drive his point home and recreate notorious punk rock singer GG Allin's funeral service for the cover art of DEADSTAR. Lying in a bed of prescription pills, promethazine, Hennessey and more, the polarizing artwork sends a strong message. Serving as both a forecast of what can happen to Purpp himself as well as his peers and followers who live the same lifestyle, the cover art forces you to think about the impact that the music and its content can have on the youth.
GG Allin was an absolute maniac at times and although Purpp was not necessarily a fan of GG or his antics, he fully embraces the notion of not giving a fuck and doing whatever you want.
Check out the cover art above and listen to his new Nova-produced single "To The Moon" below.