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Steroids, Music and Image

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Major League Baseball player Roger Clemens testified during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the use of steroids February 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson/Getty)

With the sports world grappling with performance-enhancing drugs, the music industry might be next. Wyclef Jean, Timbaland, Mary J. Blige and 50 Cent were named this week in an Albany Times Union story about steroids trafficking. The article cited confidential sources. We look at the role of performance-enhancing drugs in music.

Bob Port, senior editor of investigations at the Albany Times Union and adjunct professor at Columbia School of Journalism and James Peterson, assistant professor of English at Bucknell University and founder of Hip-Hop Scholars join us to discuss the issue of steroid use and image in hip-hop.

Weigh in: Does it matter if musicians take steroids? Should rap stars be role models?


James Peterson and Bob Port

Comments [11]

Jessica Valiente from Belleville, NJ

Is this the same human growth hormone that is often found in MILK and other foods (if you don't specifically buy foods that claim not to have it)?

Jan. 17 2008 02:36 PM
ch from NJ

I appreciate the youth and body image argument...

But here's another angle.

The FDA and Big Pharma are creating huge armies of those who can prescribe their largely untested drugs...statins, antidepressants... and lots of this stuff is now prescribed for kids under 10 years.

Meanwhile, they're spending resources going after people who put what they want to put into their own bodies including terminal cancer patients taking a last stab at survival.

We can alter our bodies legally in so many ways, we can pollute ourselves with cigarettes...things that are illegal seem so arbitrary by comparison.

Follow the buck when it comes to niches Big Pharma wants to occupy...including those that benign drugs like marijuana occupy.

Jan. 17 2008 02:35 PM
PC from nyc

Naive, maybe, but I'm not clear what the dangers are exactly of taking these growth harmones???

Jan. 17 2008 02:33 PM

All of this media attention on Steroids and HGH is out of hand. These drugs are used by very few people, now congress whos approval ratings are in the toilet will spend months on this subject and simply pass for draconian laws against steroids, what they are not dealing with is what really is hurting our kids.

How about obesity? health insurance? prevantative health care? over-priced medical drugs and treatmenta? this is not an attack on steroids and Hgh it seems like an attack on fitness. New steroid legislation will ban HGH and DHEA, a dietary supplement. THis is and always was about health. Large drug companies state in their adds "when diet and exercise fail" yes, it will fail because it is not promoted and taught to our kids. Most young steroid users try these drugs once or twice and end up disappointed, because they dont live up to the hype. But many kids who try alcohol or tobbaco become customer for life, they end up out up shape and on two or more prescrition drugs to treat "Chronic COnditions". Where is the controversy in that???

Jan. 17 2008 02:29 PM

It's a shame that we're using shortcuts and chemicals to achieve supernatural results. I hope the public can distinguish between reality and fiction!

Jan. 17 2008 02:21 PM

Politicians feel the need to get hundred dollar haircuts. Fashion models are painfully thin. We clearly have a culture that demands a high level of physical perfection from its icons. In the music industry, which plays such a significant role in modern culture (in a visual sense, with the advent of MTV), would we expect anything different?

Jan. 17 2008 02:20 PM
John from Bklyn

Great! More repulsive behavior for young morons to emulate. What about 'roid rage? Aren't there already enough shootings over minor altercations?

Jan. 17 2008 02:18 PM
Sammi Malek from NYC

I really don't care if the "stars" use these kinds of drugs, so long as it is done in a "safe" way; i.e., it is prescribed legally. Athletes are a different story, especially in a sport like baseball that is so stats-driven. Their use of the drugs taints the sports and is unfair to those who try to win based on sheer talent and god-given ability. Music or movie stars already do crazy things to their bodies, what difference does one more thing make? I just hope parents can educate their kids so they don't idolize such behavior.

Jan. 17 2008 02:18 PM
Robert from Brooklyn

God, the music sucks, nothing there, stupid lyrics, inane computer music. Let them pump us so much that their heads explode, then we no longer will be forced to hear them on WNYC.

Jan. 17 2008 02:17 PM
sam from astoria

To me there is an obvious difference between athletes and musicians when it comes to "performance enhancement." In sports there are objective measures of prowess...steroids that help you run a faster time in the 100-meter are clearly making you better. In music, however, there is no such yardstick. There is little to say what makes one artist better than another.

Jan. 17 2008 02:14 PM
Jenny from The Block

Stars are already getting botox shots and face-lifts. I don't see how this is any different. Shouldn't stars like Mary J. do whatever they need to do to remain competitive?

Jan. 17 2008 02:03 PM

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