Bow Wow Reveals Past Addiction, Urges Fans To Be "Drug Free"

The 31-year-old rapper got candid about his past battle with lean and how it affected his life. 

In the wake of rapper Mac Miller’s suspected fatal drug overdose, fellow artist Bow Wow admitted that he, too, struggled with substance abuse.

The rapper, actor and TV personality, born Shad Moss, said that a decade ago, he would drink “lean” every day—alienating his fans and family, and affecting his physical health long-term.

After overcoming that period of his life, Bow Wow now has a different message for his fans: “Stop with these dumb ass drugs.”

“Kick that shit! Be a good son or daughter. Be the best you,” he wrote on Twitter. “We gotta save the youth from going out early. Parents watch your kids. Explain to them. We want y’all to live man.”

Moss said he “almost died” from using syrup like he did. He admitted that he was using “the whole time” during the Up Close and Personal tour with Chris Brown (2007), and missed shows because he was “high and sick.” He was also hospitalized from going through withdrawals.

“To this day I’m affected. My stomach will never be the same and it hasn’t been,” Bow Wow continued in his tweets. He says it changed everything, from his attitude to his relationships. “My fans started to turn on me, my family too,” he wrote.

This candid confession came as fans and fellow artists mourn the passing of rapper Mac Miller, who died on Friday, September 7. Many suspect a drug overdose, but toxicology tests will take weeks to confirm the cause of death.

The rapper (born Malcolm McCormick) was candid about his problems with depression, drug use, and suicidal thoughts. In a 2013 interview with Complex, he described using “lean”—a cough-syrup based drink—to cope with feelings of depression. “I was not happy and I was on lean very heavy [during the Macadelic tour]. I was so fucked up all the time it was bad. My friends couldn’t even look at me the same. I was lost,” he said at the time.

Bow Wow, who is currently on tour in Australia and New Zealand, said he’s going to “start being more vocal” about these issues.

“Drug free is the way to be! Smarten up, tighten up out here,” he wrote on Twitter. “We can’t lose no more of you. Not one! I love all y’all. The young artist all the kids around the world… don’t follow a trend. Break the cycle.”

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