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10 Rappers That Fought Their Addiction and Got Sober

10 Rappers That Fought Their Addiction and Got Sober

The rap industry is a hotbed of addiction and cautionary tales. Many musicians come from struggle and have been through a lot in their lives. To help them cope, many of these musicians have turned to substance abuse, leading to addiction, and ended with death or illness. Luckily, there are some positive cases where the rappers can fight off the addiction. Here, we will be taking a look at 10 rappers that struggle with addiction and emerged successfully, becoming sober.


He may be the king of the rap industry, but Marshall B. Mathers III, popularly known as Eminem isn’t flawless. Once upon a time, Eminem couldn’t stay away from pills and even ingested as many as 90 pills a day at one point. It wasn’t until around 2007, when Eminem almost died from an overdose of methadone, that he chose to make a change in his life. The first step in overcoming his addiction was checking himself into rehab. Being surrounded by professionals dedicated to helping him overcome, the recovery process was lightened.

The pressures of stardom and hectic schedule drove Eminem to start using prescription drugs. The addiction continued to grow and he began to take more pills including Vicodin, Ambien, and Valium. Eminem claimed his drug use helped him to retain a semblance of normalcy in an otherwise crazy life. Once he decided to get clean of drug abuse, he found support from an unexpected source in Elton John. Being someone who had gone through something similar in his life, Eminem could relate and learn from Elton. Elton checked up on Eminem regularly and offered support throughout his drug abuse recovery period.

Eminem admitted: his children are the biggest reason why he was able to kick his addiction and remain sober for 13 years.


Macklemore’s battle with alcohol addiction started at a young age, with his first exposure to alcohol coming at 13. When we talk about addiction and exposure to harmful substances at an early age, we would usually expect peer pressure and street influence. However, Macklemore’s story tells us not all dangerous vices start outside the house. The alcohol came from his parents as he raided their liquor cabinet, which was the start of his journey on a perilous path. While alcohol was his main addiction, he was hooked on drugs at one point as well, with OxyContin.

For more than a decade, Macklemore continued with alcohol abuse before finally deciding to stop. The decision to stop was inspired by the need to be more creative in his music. After realizing his drinking was hindering his creativity, Macklemore saw the need for a change. The first step on his road to being sober was checking himself into a rehab facility. To ensure his recovery is uninterrupted, he frequents AA meetings to this day, even allowing the press to accompany him on one occasion. Today, he has been sober for years and his life and career are better for it.


There aren’t too many rappers more iconic than Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. or as we know him, T.I. T.I’s life has been filled with different addictions, from smoking to drinking and substance abuse, the rapper has done it all.

The rapper started with smoking and drinking but was able to put an end to it around 2008. Shortly after, he started with OxyContin before being able to quit it all-around 2011. T.I’s drug problem was the product of years of exposure to these substances. The substance abuse came after he had some surgeries and the pills were a way to cope with the pain.

After noticing the changes in his behavior, he decided it was time to make some changes and sought the appropriate help against substance abuse. He claimed he had hit rock bottom, and it was the catalyst he needed to see his problem. After a bit of a rocky recovery, T.I became sober and claimed it is a choice, one he has consciously made and will live by. With over a decade since his last reported substance abuse, his sobriety isn’t something he takes lightly.

Kid Cudi

Speaking about rappers that struggle with addiction, let’s look at Kid Cudi. His drug problem was specifically focused on cocaine, a crutch he didn’t develop until maturity. He said the main reason he started taking cocaine was to help him cope with the rapid success that came with his rap career. He also explained his hard drug addiction quickly got out of hand and was uncontrollable. Rather than a little cocaine to relieve pressure, he was taking large amounts of cocaine. Once he realized his predicament, then he decided to stop and do so accordingly.

In Cudi’s case, the drug addiction was gone as quickly as it came, with the rapper simply refraining from taking cocaine. There were no rehabilitation or support group meetings for Cudi, instead, he made the choice and stuck by it. Cudi claims rehab isn’t for everyone and he happens to be one of those who fall into this category. He did, however, admit his decision was influenced by his arrest for cocaine-related matters back in 2010.

After his arrest, Cudi decided it was time to get healthy and focus on himself. Thankfully, he was able to identify the fact that his daughter and the rest of his family needed him to be healthy. He also went on to quit alcohol and drugs, stating he was at his happiest after the decision.

10 Rappers That Fought Their Addiction and Got Sober


However, LaCrae’s path to the gospel wasn’t a straightforward one and involved a battle with alcohol and drugs. Today, he lives the clean life expected of a good Cristian, but once upon a time, LaCrae was fond of substance abuse. He also confirmed the abuse wasn’t specific to any one drug as he claims he tried all there was. However, he said he didn’t indulge in taking cocaine or heroin.

Lecrae said once he decided to make a change, he checked into rehab and sought professional help. He also explained his time in rehab helped him learn how much better things were for him than other people. In group therapy, he listened to the problems of others and the reasons behind their abuse and realized he was in a strong place.

He admitted his time in rehab saw him either in group therapy, or isolation, where he usually read the bible. His faith, coupled with professional support and realizing that he had so much going for him, all contributed to his overcoming addiction. Today, he is sober, active in ministry, and hopes his story can serve as an inspiration to others who may be going through something similar.

Andre 3000

Marijuana played a key part in Andre 3000’s life while he was growing up, especially when he began to tilt towards music. Through most of his early years in music, he smoked frequently and got ‘high’. After a while, Andre claims he didn’t like the way things were looking and he could barely recognize himself in the mirror. At this juncture, he decided to quit smoking marijuana and focus on more healthy things like his music. He even claimed music was his new addiction and one which kept him away from the old addiction.

The decision to quit, however, wasn’t solely inspired by what Andre saw when he looked in the mirror. He said the only way he could get more marijuana was to go to dangerous neighborhoods. Due to fear of his safety and the good of his career, Andre opted to quit smoking marijuana. After witnessing a frightening event in the neighborhood, he began to wonder if he was right to visit the area. It became clear to him his days of buying marijuana were over.

Andre dint checks into rehab or attends a group meeting to get support in quitting marijuana abuse. Instead, he simply stopped buying it, cutting off his access to marijuana, hence, no smoking. Regardless, the method has since been a success as Andre hasn’t smoked weed in almost 30 years.


DMX may have died from drug abuse, but his fight and victory over addiction, albeit temporarily, is impressive. DMX was introduced to substances early in life, smoking and ultimately doing cocaine at 14. Throughout most of his adult life, he battled with substance abuse-related problems and even spent some time in jail for it.

Once, sometime around 2013, he mentioned about staying sober for over a year. He said he smoked once in a while, but didn’t get high like he normally did. By admitting his problem to himself, he was able to live with it, regulating his substance use.

Throughout his life, he decided to sober up and usually sought professional help in rehabilitation. He wasn’t always successful but would often have sober spells where he was drug-free. His battle with substance abuse eventually end when he died of organ failure linked to cocaine ingestion.


Pharrell is one of the rare gems in the rap industry who has no affiliation to smoking or drinking whatsoever. His inclusion on this list isn’t because of a personal battle with addiction, but the ability to remain sober despite all the temptation around him. With over three decades of performances in the rap industry, it is a miracle Pharrell is still sober. This becomes more impressive when you consider some of the acts Pharrell has collaborated with within his career. Legends like Snoop Dogg with a reputation for frequently smoking weed and using hard substances haven’t had any effect on Pharrell.

Pharrell revealed once that his decision to avoid substances and stay sober comes from his experiences when experimenting. He revealed he had been drunk a couple of times in his life and even went as far as ingesting a brownie containing weed. With devastating consequences like fainting in a bathroom, it became clear to him that sobriety was best for him. With all the negative side effects associated with drinking and substance abuse, it is clear why Pharrell has lasted this long in the music industry.

Kendrick Lamar

There is no doubt, Kendrick Lamar is at the top of the rap industry currently and his sobriety may have something to do with it. Kendrick was probably introduced to weed and alcohol when he was very young, but somehow, managed to stay sober. Where others became dependent on weed or substances or alcohol to assist with their music, Kendrick found it best to work with a clear head.

Kendrick said his aversion to smoking and drinking comes from his father. While his father indulged in these practices, he explained the negatives to Kendrick and those lessons stuck. His father had walked down the path and had regrets, so he chose to stay sober, enjoy life and rise in the rap industry.

J Cole

If you are into physical appearances, then one look at J Cole and you will be convinced he is a stoner. The rapper looks the part, but quite deceptively, doesn’t lean that way in his orientation. His music features lyrics that would often suggest he smokes week and gets drunk frequently, but it isn’t true. J Cole explained he smoked whilst in college, but it was just a phase as he isn’t nor has he ever been, addicted and dependent on weed and alcohol. Instead, he uses these vices in his lyrics as a way to connect with his fans, as opposed to writing off his own experiences. J Cole hasn’t smoked marijuana in over 10 years, and live sober life.

Bottom Line

There are too many rappers that struggle with addiction. The site ecosoberhouse.com is dedicated to providing help to all who are battling with any form of addiction. As is evident from some of the above stories, support is a great help in the battle against drug addiction or any other type of addiction. Join the community now and hear from people going through similar situations in a free judgment-free environment. Remember, the road to recovery starts with one decision.

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