Prince and Michael Jackson: Did they Need Drugs?

This post might elicit some serious responses in the people that read articles on the Internet.  I was going back and forth with some folks about whether or not Bill Cosby would get a fair trial yesterday.  Someone actually told me that I should shut up because Bill Cosby was innocent and all of the women that accused him of sexual assault were gold diggers.  My belief is that Bill would have been okay if he would have kept his hands to himself.  There are women and men out there who charge for sexual pleasure.  Drugging women to advance your own weird libido, while supposedly happily married and representing the average Joe, is just plain wrong.

Getting high is a struggle for many people around the world today.  There is a strain of heroin going around that is causing deaths in Pennsylvania at a rapid rate.  I think of some of the famous movies involving drugs and the aftermath of their use and I cringe.  New Jack City, Scarface, Less than Zero, Pulp Fiction, The Basketball Diaries, Pusher, Bad Lieutenant and Blue Hill Avenue are just a few of the movies that recount the devastating effects of the drug trade. The dealers get rich, sometimes get killed, and the users waste away.  Beautiful women and men lose everything in pursuit of the feeling that they get under the influence.

I grew up in a tough section of South Philadelphia.  I knew about weed at the age of 13.  I might have smoked a few joints myself.  Many things in my life were influenced by whether there was weed in the neighborhood or not.  Was there a nice party?  Weed.  Fight Party?  Weed.  All night movies? Weed.  It was everywhere.  In spite of this, I was able to finish Prep School, College and Grad School.  I envy the person that never smoked a dooby before.  It was a hard habit to kick.  I used to think it was just poverty that caused this habit.  When I read about the families in Chester and Montgomery County that have lost children to the scourge of heroin, I realize how lucky I was.

The number of hit recordings that both of these artists produced is astounding.  Yet their personal lives were perplexing.  Prince was once married and lost a child at birth.  MJ was once married and his children look nothing like him.  MJ's oddities extended to Never Never Land.  Prince was ensconced in Paisley Park but his everyday life was a mystery.  The need to perform overrode everything.  I guess it might be the same with most virtuosos. 

Prince and Michael Jackson are two Superstars in American R & B.  They also have international followings.  As I listen to Bang Radio in London, I understand the impact of music on all cultures.  When Prince died recently, the tributes came in fast and furious.  Many people thought he was too young to pass away.  It was recounted that he had recently had to have an injection of life saving narcotic drugs.  It was revealed today that he died of an opioid overdose.  He had apparently suffered injuries to his hips while performing.  He kept up a hectic schedule though.  He left a concert in Atlanta and had many more events planned.  Why not stop and pay attention to his health?  He was 112 pounds and in poor health when he passed.

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Michael Jackson suffered the same fate.  He took drugs just to sleep.  His Doctor was jailed for negligently prescribing drugs to alleviate his many pains.  He was preparing for another tour to appease his fans.  I am one of them.  I did not want to see him or Prince die to give us ore music though.  Many upstanding parents don't know why their kids would do drugs.  Many drug dealers would say why not do drugs.  Dealing with reality can sometimes be overwhelming, especially without money or cars.  Feeling sorry for oneself and doing drugs is an ultimate escape.  Amy Winehouse might have survived if someone had intervened.  Kurt Cobain needed help also.  I will give a shout to the memory of former NBA player Terry Furlow also.

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When one is as talented as Prince and Michael Jackson were, what is the motivation to get high?  Whitney Houston's death broke my heart because we were 1963 babies together.  Her voice, beauty and poise were riveting.  The effects of drugs on her body were just devastating.  I passed Temple's Medical School campus today.  The Doctors on lunch break impressed me.  Helping to heal and save lives is a big thing.  The price of fame and fortune is not worth and early death due to substance abuse.  RIP Prince and Michael Jackson.  May we all learn lessons on how to cope with reality.

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