High times in music biz

2011-06-18 17:57

A music industry hotshot has made a shocking revelation about the drug habits of some of SA’s biggest hip-hop and kwaito stars.

Ghetto Ruff record-label owner Lance Stehr has fingered gospel hip-hop problem-child Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye and fallen kwaito bad-boy Zola as just two of the youngsters he has tried to help overcome substance abuse.

All of them belong or were once signed to Stehr’s label.

“Look at Jub Jub,” says Stehr, “he needs help. He needs therapy. The same with Zola.”

Stehr was speaking out after another of his long-time stable signings Ishmael Morabe admitted to a decade-long battle with cocaine and alcohol.

“You know why I couldn’t come out and say that they needed help? Because I was protecting Ishmael.”

The award-winning Morabe, who has worked with Zola and Bongani Fassie at different stages, this week revealed details of the drug hell that turned him into “an a***hole”.

Now clean for four weeks after time in rehab, Morabe revealed he had been doing cocaine for the past 11 years and it had ruled his life, had “affected my work, health, finances”, and caused friction between him and his family.

Morabe, who makes up the other half of the successful hip-hop outfit Jozi with Da L.E.S, said: “Of course, there were some people whom I was working with who tried to advise me and some were not saying anything as they were doing it as well.

“Cocaine did change me. It made me feel like I was the s**t! It made me feel like I was on top of the world and arrogant! The next day you just feel like s**t and come out with excuses not to work. I definitely missed out on a lot that could have benefited me.”

He said that being “clean” has made him feel 10 times better “because I have decided this is the right thing to do. ”.

One of the casualties of Morabe’s drug habit has been his relationship with American 90s R&B star Puff Johnson, who made South Africa her home.

He admits that his cocaine addiction played a part in the disintegration of the relationship.

He said: “Instead of being with her, I would be out searching for the next high and getting sloshed.”

Morabe said he asked Stehr to help him after he couldn’t kick the habit by himself. Now he wants to include his experiences in his music.

“I need to share what bad things drugs make you do with young people who look up to us (celebrities) and take everything we do as the right thing.”

In his defence, Zola said: “This is the last kick of a dying horse.

Lance has accused me of doing all sorts of things and this doesn’t surprise me.

From what these kids are telling me, he is the provider of these drugs.”

Stehr said he was done working with people who take drugs. 

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