Alt-Day Sunday: St. Vincent – “Pills”

Self-medication is not the answer. Derrick Coleman AKA Fredo Santana AKA “Fredo in the cut, that’s a scary sight” passed away on Saturday, January 20th. The Chicago rapper, shared news of his health last October when he was suffering from liver and kidney failure. With his death, we continue the same conversation about drug use in Hip-Hop. We discuss the conditions and situations (PTSD/Mental Issues) that make certain people abuse prescription drugs. All this talk is good, but pessimistic me believes it will lead to no actions except for tone-deaf mentions of the deceased. To this day. I don’t understand why rappers think pouring up for Pimp C is a significant condolence. It is literally the equivalent of the family in Soul Food eating the same thing that killed Big Mama. There’s a bigger issue with society’s opinion on drugs.

“Pills to wake, pills to sleep
Pills, pills, pills every day of the week
Pills to walk, pills to think
Pills, pills, pills for the family
Pills to grow, pills to shrink
Pills, pills, pills and a good stiff drink
Pills to fuck, pills to eat
Pills, pills, pills down the kitchen sink”

“Pills” by St. Vincent has been stuck in my head for over a month. The singer’s fifth album Masseduction has been played nightly on my Tidal subscription. Her ex, Cara Delevinge, performs the catchy hook that has the joyful tone of a children’s song, but the lyrics are a representation of the marketing plan pharmaceutical companies have us conditioned to believe that taking a pill for every aspect of your life is common and necessary. That daily dependency is unhealthy, instead of Fredo, Lil Peep, and countless others choosing pills or a cup to numb themselves to their pain, I think they should have found therapy for their mental health before the effects of the drugs had terminal effects.

The third verse of the song is haunting.

“I heard the tales, fortune and blame
Tigers and wolves defanged by fame
From the chains to the reins to the vein
To the brain, anyway there’s a day
And I’ll pay it in pain.”

Please look for an escape from dark times and places that don’t lead to death. Happy Sunday!