“It’s Embarrassing”: How Sacramento Rapper Mozzy Knew He Had to “Kick the Cup”


Let 2018 be the year every rapper flushes their pills and pours out their lean.

Following a prolific 2017, a GRAMMYs shout-out from Kendrick Lamar, and a placement on the forthcoming Black Panther soundtrack, Sacramento rapper Mozzy spoke with Billboard about his “Kick the Cup” anti-lean campaign. What began as a simple Instagram video showcasing Mozzy’s concerted effort to quit lean has now evolved into a movement Mozzy describes as “platinum.”

But no movement is without a catalyst, and for Mozzy, the negative effects lean were sinking his health, his mood, and his ability to make and perform music.

“I’d been feeling the effects—the effects on my body, on my personality, on my work,” Mozzy recounted. “I just wanna be here for my youngins, for my kids. I wanna be here to spend this money. I wanna be here healthy and present. Like I said, health is wealth and I need my bag… It don’t matter what it is now, but my energy used to be so embarrassing. It be so embarrassing being under the influence a drug and trying to do an interview. And I got millions people watching—not only that but I got my family watching—and it’s embarrassing. I gotta get it together.”

After quitting lean, Mozzy began to feel the positive effects living drug-free: more energy, better showmanship, and being able to carry groceries up five flights stairs. Though “Kick the Cup” began with only Mozzy in mind, the larger impact his statement is just as crucial as Mozzy’s own attention to his health.

“I wasn’t doing it for the publicity, I wasn’t doing it for the people, I was doing it for me,” Mozzy explained. “Anybody I can assist in the process, that’s dope. If I can get somebody else to fall back on it, or kick the cup, that’s dope. But I was really doing it for myself to let myself know it’s for real this time. I wouldn’t fer it to my kids, so why would I fer it to yours?”

Later in the interview, Mozzy reminded the world that entertainers have immense influence over the youth, encouraging newly-minted anti-drug artists like Lil Xan and more recently, Smokepurpp, to make a real impact. While no artist is ever implicitly responsible for their fans’ actions, seeing Mozzy and some his rapping colleagues take a stand against drug use sends a powerful message.

We agree; kick the cup, drink some water, and eat some vegetables, that is, unless you’re Lil Yachty.