In the aftermath of the tragic drug related deaths of several festival goers at NYC’s Electric Zoo Festival it is important not to become embroiled in a the media induced hysteria that inevitably will follow as news outlets chase headlines rather than represent actual goings on. That said, it doesn’t take away from the fact that two people have sadly lost their lives to the drug issue within electronic music, and there is an issue, which needs to be addressed. Speaking on the matter without condemning or endorsing drug use, DJ and producer Brillz, best known for his work alongside Diplo and remixing Kill the Noise for Skrillex’s OWSLA record label, has decided to share his opinion on drugs within electronic music and his personal experiences with them. It’s a heartfelt and moving piece and as people line up condemn the two people who passed away at Electric Zoo his more level headed take on what is happening in the scene is certainly something we certainly agree with here at DT and feel is worth sharing.
Check it out below
I’d like to start of by saying that Im writing this essay simply because I have a desire to be a force for positive change. Even if I can make .001% difference in a few lives by speaking my mind, I’m willing to put myself out there for that.
There are no right and wrongs here. Im not telling anyone what to do, or not do. These are simply MY thoughts, MY beliefs, MY opinions. My hope is that it resonates with at least some of you. I’m very passionate about our community of artists, fans, and the events we all attend, on both sides of stage. Im writing this cause I care.
I’ve done a lot of drugs in my life. Ive done them cause of peer pressure, to be accepted or belong to the group, or cause a girl I liked was doing it. Ive done them to expand my mind, to seek a higher truth. I’ve done them to find an escape from my problems. Ive done them simply cause “why the fuck not”. I’ve had a lot of great times, and I’ve had a lot of really dark times. I’ve met a lot of friends, and at the same time drugs have torn great friendships apart. At times I have felt free, at times I have felt complete emptiness. It’s a double edge sword and Im not condemning it or condoning it, it’s different for everyone. I’ve been going to raves and parties since 99′ and I’ve seen a lot of shit go down. So let me offer you some thoughts about what I have learned in my own PERSONAL experience:
You don’t HAVE to do drugs to “fit in” or belong. You don’t HAVE to get high just cause your friends are doing it. You don’t HAVE to do drugs if you simply don’t want to. You don’t HAVE to get fucked up to experience the music or the moment. The music still sounds sick as fuck if you aren’t high!
I wanna be REALLY clear about something – We each have our own free will to do as we please, and I’m not gonna impose on yours. If you wanna do drugs -its your choice – I am not looking down on you or judging you, as I said earlier Ive been there. Just THINK! Act as responsibly as humanly possible!! I wanna repost what Bassnectar posted on his FB cause I think he nailed it – and I commend him for posting it – and for caring.
BASSNECTAR: How best to say this? Life is extremely precious! If you wanna get wild out in the heat, make sure you drink plenty of water and if you are planning to get high or drink alcohol, be careful with yourself. No need to overdue it or get sloppy or reckless with your nervous system, maybe try taking half as much, and letting life’s natural magic work it’s charms or maybe try a night off and see if you can have just as much fun without getting high. Also I think it’s fun to spend time lookin out for other people so if everyone out there takes a few moments out of their evening to doing something sweet for someone else, everyone is better off. Drugs are a tricky topic, but remember your health and safety is in your hands, so make good decisions. Ok back to your regularly scheduled program…
Mainstream hip hop and pop stars like Miley Cyrus aka Hannah Montana have glorified Molly to a whole new level to really young and impressionable kids. The culture is bigger than ever and there are even more sketchy shady mother fuckers who will sell you anything, cut with anonymous chemicals, and other drugs like meth and heroine (also cut with other crap), just to make a profit on you. They don’t care if you die. Someone said “Why should we be punished as “a scene” for the stupid newbie mistakes of a few kids who died and couldn’t handle their shit”. Sometimes these deaths at events have nothing to do with dehydration, or over doing it, or newbie mistakes. It’s simply bad shit and all of sudden your friend is dead, but you aren’t because all of our bodies are different. This is just a REALITY.
Music and drugs go hand in hand, they have for decades, and especially now in dance music. That doesn’t mean we just have to stand by and do nothing. I wish there was a think-tank of some sort that could work on issues like, drug education (if your gonna do it), making free water a requirement, and other ideas to help make these events safer for the audience and hopefully prevent as many unnecessary deaths as possible. Their must be some action we can take that neither condemns or condones but can simply provide some positive force in our community. Like Switzerland or something, neutral. I don’t know all the answers, but I know I wanna help.
Today, I’m totally sober. I stopped doing hard drugs, I recently stopped smoking weed and even drinking alcohol. Since then I have heard things like “Oh Brillz is lame, he doesn’t get turnt” “Fuck Brillz, he don’t even smoke weed no more, thats whack” or “Oh just a water? , thats boring”. We all want to be liked, accepted and bond with our peers – the pressure is real. When I learned a few of my heroes didn’t do ANY drugs, it inspired me, and when I reached out to them they were supportive and it meant a lot. Im realizing its more important to me now, to reach my hand out there for those of you who want to grab it, than to worry about what anyone thinks of me. Thats just ME and MY journey.
To me “Turning Up” isn’t about getting fucked up anymore. Turning Up is about pure energy – its about getting as hype as I can get – its about writing the hardest banger I can write – its about throwing down the hardest set I can throw down – its about working as hard as I can work – its about dancing as hard as I can possibly dance. Its about being the best artist I can be. Its about being the best friend that I can be. Its about being the best HUMAN I can be.
Im sure a lot of you internet types are gonna have a field day with this, tear it apart and have a million rebuttals, comments, corrections, sadly even jokes, and thats ALL GOOD. There is a saying that goes “Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one” And if you think I’m an asshole, thats fine with me, you aren’t the first person who thought that and you probably won’t be the last. If you read this and felt inspired, if you connected with it in any way, then my goal is accomplished. In closing I want to add that drugs and alcohol while enjoyed “safely” and recreationally by many are also a life threatening problem for many. If you think you have a problem, don’t be afraid to ask for help. I did.
Be safe, your friend