Rapper Lil Xan On A Mission To 'Get Kids Off Xanax'

By David Konow 02/13/18

The young, underground rapper is sober and using his platform to help his fans stop using the popular benzodiazepine.

Rapper Lil Xan
Rapper Lil Xan Photo via YouTube

At the age of 20, Lil Xan is one of a number of underground rappers who has made a name for himself through SoundCloud. He has also recently spoken out against drug abuse in the wake of the deaths of Lil Peep and Fredo Santana.

Lil Xan is currently playing sold-out gigs, and he’s also got a song, “Betrayed,” that is climbing the Billboard Hot 100. (The music video has also racked up over 120 million plays on YouTube.) But even with his name being a reference to Xanax, a drug that has been wreaking havoc in the hip hop community, the rapper told the Phoenix New Times, “I quit that shit, like six or seven months ago.”

In fact, the chorus of "Betrayed" speaks out against Xanax: “Xans don’t make you, Xans gon’ take you, Xans gon’ fake you, Xans gon’ betray you.”

Lil Xan told DJ Booth, “I definitely learned that lesson after ending up in the hospital from withdrawing. I was doing Norcos too. I was withdrawing from opiates and Benzos. It landed me in the hospital too many times. And one day, I was just like, ‘This ain’t fun, I can’t live this life.’"

“My whole movement is getting kids off of Xanax,” the rapper told the New Times. “That’s what we’re trying to do. I make it very clear on all social media aspects and the people know now. We’re going to keep pushing that until it’s in your face and you can’t ignore it.”

And indeed, with the tragic death of up-and-coming rapper Lil Peep from an overdose of Xanax and fentanyl, and the recent death of Fredo Santana from a seizure, more hip-hop artists have been speaking out.

Lil Xan has been paying tribute to Lil Peep at his shows, telling Pigeons and Planes, “That was a tragedy. It was definitely a wake-up call to a lot of people. There are still rappers that are doing what they’re doing. And they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do regardless, but it hit too close to home. I’m not saying it was the turning point of me deciding to be anti-Xan... but it was definitely a wake-up call and a reminder that this shit is real.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.