Aside from emo stars, the sparrows tattoo is probably the most cliché of all scene tattoos. For ladies, anyway. Dudes who have sparrows tattoos have bigger problems on their hands than being cliché. There are two places you can get the sparrows. The first is on your hip bones, which is a delightful way to let anyone about to get into your pants for the first time know that this territory has already been charted by the singer of a mid-level screamo band.
These Rappers Hate Ecstasy
When ecstasy became widely available three decades ago, it was largely consumed by suburban white kids wearing baggy cargo shorts who sucked pacifiers in abandoned warehouses, while listening to electronic music of some sort or other until they collapsed in exhaustion. Over the past decade, it seemed to fall out of favor with drug users, who veered more toward cocaine and other stimulants to fuel their partying needs. Then some narcotics-marketing genius (I’m convinced this is a real job) decided to rebrand MDMA, ecstasy’s key ingredient, as “molly,” and everyone from Kanye to Rick Ross to your little sister at this very moment is putting it in his or her mouth and asshole with reckless abandon. The hip-hop community’s embrace of the drug has been especially striking, since historical stereotypes dictate that rappers are normally more interested in chilled-out drugs like cough syrup and weed. But one hip-hop group from Brooklyn is not onboard. Stereo Marz, a trio who formed earlier this year, titled their debut track “Anti-Molly,” and the message is pretty clear: “Yo, this drug is fucking wack! / [they] ain’t fucking with that molly / and if you do you can’t come to my party.” I spoke with two of Stereo Marz’s three members, Desi Dez and Shaun “Bizy” Gabriel, about what was wrong with a drug that makes you love strobe lights and songs and sticking your tongue down some stranger’s throat all night long.
VICE: Why do you hate molly so much?
Desi Dez: I’m disgusted, in fact, very disgusted with all these artists being big advocates for this molly thing. We’re totally against that—for us, it’s weak. We don’t feel that.
Shaun “Bizy” Gabriel: The atmosphere in schools has changed in the past five years with kids doing molly. They’re selling it in candy wrappers, tricking kids.
Why do you think its popularity has increased so much over the past few years? Most rappers seem to love it.
Desi: That’s the reason! All these top-notch artists are the voice for this drug, so the younger kids see it as cool. Same with any propaganda, if it’s repeated enough, people just accept it.
Bizy: I don’t know if people are being paid to rap about molly, but I’ve heard people say that could be a possibility. It just came out of nowhere. What we do know is it’s being promoted every day.
Do you think molly will become a sort of new crack epidemic?
Desi: Definitely. It’s targeted at kids. That’s what it’s geared up for. The suppliers are going to put more stuff in to make it more addictive, and by that time, you’ve got a lost generation caught up on this, just like what the crack game did. It’s all a setup.
Do you have any parting words for rappers who can’t get enough of it?
Bizy: Man, pop the molly up your ass! We don’t respect molly.
More about molly on VICE:
The Death of the Rockstar - Everyone’s Sober Now
The old cliché of “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” is dead. Ok, if not completely dead, it’s in the process of taking its last, sad breath. The mysticism that once surrounded the “rock star” has evaporated into pictures of them in their sweatpants at Starbucks and unwarranted crotch shots as they exit their limousine. Bottom line, it’s not cute. Despite the mainstream artists’ need to put their bling, bitches and Bentleys on blast in music videos, that’s not what’s really going on beneath the surface in the real world. It’s a lot darker and colder out there.
Addiction is running rampant among all types of people; young or old, married or single, famous or one of the Joneses, it’s affecting people in similar ways. So I wondered, do artists these days feel any sort of social responsibility when it comes to painting a picture that’s full of syringes, rolled up dollar bills, Lean and video hos? Surprisingly, what I found in the majority of my interviews is that most artists are sober, in the process of getting sober, straight edge or barely indulge. Why? Because being a musician is actually a job. It’s not just drinking and drugging all night as you move from prospect to prospect hoping to get laid.
In a 2010 interview with Bad Religion front man, Greg Graffin, he reveals something that is almost shocking, especially because his world is surround by punk rock debauchery and disastrous stories of drug overdoses (as in the cases of Sid Vicious of The Sex Pistols and Billy Mercia of New York Dolls).
“I’m straight edge so I’ve never understood how people can function with drugs and alcohol,” Graffin admits. “But I also know that the drugs today are so potent that they are infinitely more dangerous.”
And he’s right. According to CNN.com, 40,000 kids died of drug overdoses in 2010. Ben Haggerty, more widely known as Macklemore these days, could have been one of them. The Seattle-based emcee’s struggle with substance abuse nearly ended him, but he made the brave decision to go to treatment before he was just another statistic.
Arto’s finally in California now and hanging out with straight edge vegans. What a bummer! Don’t worry, they’re actually pretty cool and good role models for a young skater like Arto.