Drug addiction continues to impact the nation in numerous ways. To shed light on how drug addiction has played a role when it comes to family members and the community, Killer Mike, Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and Judge Terrinee Gundy held a discussion during a book release event for Gundy’s “Daughter Of A Junkie.”
With music by DJ Trauma and moderated by Reed, Killer Mike and Gundy shared their experiences with dealing with family members who were captured by addiction.
On Killer Mike’s latest album “Michael,” the West Side Atlanta rapper features the song “Something For Junkies.” The song tackles how Killer Mike navigated life as a young man who was introduced to the occupational side of drugs and being unaware, at the time, of the issues that it caused the community and family members.
He spoke about how cocaine was initially a party drug during the 1970s disco era and the introduction of crack in the 1980s led to higher rates of addiction.
“The song acknowledges and recognizes the people that are in our family that’s a pain to addiction and the people we use,” Killer Mike said. “Because the person who cleaned up in front of store fronts were not considered an employee and was not given consideration. So I wanted to show empathy. I wanted to show respect, compassion, and I wanted to show it to the people I knew and extend it because rap music has never really done that. As a community, as Black people. I don’t think we’ve given the grace to the addicts that they truly deserve.”
Gundy spoke about what inspired her to write a book about her father’s drug addiction and how it impacted her entire family. She revealed that he’s struggled with addiction since the late 1970s. And she discussed how as an 8-year-old, she once had to walk into a crack house to get her father who was scheduled to work.
Overall, Gundy and her family continued to love her father as he battled his personal issues with drugs.
“The part that has been the greatest for me is the love and support that I have gotten from my family, from everybody in this room,” Gundy said. “Because as Michael said, they cared about giving people grace in our community, and for me, that’s the grace inside of my own family. We have begun healing. We all deserve grace. And just because someone has an addiction and disease does not make them any less than. It does not make them not human. It does not make them not deserving of our love, and our compassion. And so that was what I am the most excited about…I’m not going to throw away my father because he’s an addict, because he has a disease or because the people in my community call him a junkie. He is my father. I love him. He loves me. He is proud of me.”