How common are tobacco, marijuana use in hip-hop music videos?


Bottom Line: Popular hip-hop music videos frequently feature tobacco and marijuana use, and because of the genre’s broad appeal, this may contribute to growing public health concern about the use of these products in traditional combustible or new electronic forms.

Why The Research Is Interesting: Hip-hop artists model behavior to their fans because of their prominence and the commentary in their songs. Depictions of tobacco and marijuana use in music videos may help to increase the products’ appeal and decrease fans’ perceptions of risks and harms. This study analyzed leading hip-hop music videos over five years (2013-2017) to characterize the extent to which tobacco and marijuana use appeared.

What and When: 796 hip-hop music videos on Billboard magazine’s weekly Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs list between 2013 and 2017

Study Measures and Outcomes: How common was the appearance or use of combustible tobacco and marijuana products; the appearance of smoke or vapor; the appearance or use of electronic tobacco and marijuana products; tobacco or marijuana brand placement; and the appearance or use of combustible and electronic tobacco and marijuana by the main or featured artist

How (Study Design): This was a content analysis.

Authors: Kristin E. Knutzen, M.P.H., of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and coauthors

Study Limitations: More than 30 percent of leading hip-hop songs didn’t have music videos; and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and residency weren’t known about people who watched hip-hop videos



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