Korean rap producer Kush (쿠시) was recently arrested when he tried to purchase cocaine in an undercover sting. While many people were surprised that he does drugs, I’m a bit surprised at their surprise. Years back, he was in a reggae-themed group called Stony Skunk (스토니 스컹크), which heavily used marijuana imagery and had a song called “Mary and Me“–which is pronounced “marijuana” if said in Korean (메리와 나). In fact, the word “kush” usually refers to marijuana:
Kush’s record label is YG Entertainment, which has had a fair number of drug related incidents. For example, rapper G-Dragon was caught for smoking marijuana in 2011, and label mate T.O.P was caught for the same offense in fall 2017. In 2010, the two rappers made a song together called “HIGH HIGH,” in which the chorus was, “High, high, I’m so high.”
Broadly speaking, I think that drug use should be treated as a public health issue, not a criminal one. I hope that these talented musicians’ lives are not destroyed due to public scorn and the legal system.