When we consider vaping in popular culture we automatically think of movies and TV. We even covered this in an article a while back, what TV shows and movies featured vaping, for all the good or bad reasons it served. In fact for the most part, vaping on the silver screen is seen as the ultimate window for opportunity for vapers, seeing their favourite actor on screen with a vape pen over a cigarette, it can’t get much better than that for an industry constantly fighting battles all over the world. However there is one medium that despite often forgot about, has really embraced vaping to such a large degree, music. The music industry over the past 3 years has grown its influence in the vaping pop culture more than ever before, swapping the traditional illegal substances and smoking for something far better instead. The extent that vaping is starting to creep more and more into music is astounding and when you start to look a little closer it makes you wonder how much more it can flourish. The question we need to look at is how, and why. Why are music artists embracing vaping more than ever before and more importantly how far does this rabbit hole go for the music industry?
Join us here at Drip Hacks whilst we take a look at the influence vaping is having on the music industry today.
Look Who’s Vaping
The first place to start when we explore vaping in the music industry is who is actually vaping these days? It is all well and good to say the music industry is behind vaping now but would you care if that meant Michael Bolton or Barbara Streisand? So the important thing to really establish first and foremost who exactly is vaping these days. Are they cool, should we care about them? Honestly in amongst the random names there are some big names and the definition of cool. Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of these in the list;
Snoop Dogg– One of the most famous rappers out there, Snoop Dogg has championed vaping for years.
Katy Perry– One of the most popular pop stars in the world today, she has been pictured with a vape on many an occasion
Ronnie Wood- The second most famous Rolling Stone made the switch and became an inspiration for older vapers around the world.
Courtney Love- The rock chick who has lived and breathed rock music for 30 years now is very much an avid vaper
Dave Grohl- Undisputedly the coolest man in rock music today, Dave even vaped in their video for Run.
Steven Carpenter- The Deftones Guitarist is part of one of the biggest metal bands of the past 25 years and even uses a Smok device!
Robbie Williams- One of the UK’s most famous musicians these days, swapped smoking for vaping and made the uncool dad type look better for it.
Chuck Billy- Lead singer of thrash Metal band Testament, he even promotes his own line of products and actively discusses vaping.
Lady Gaga- Undoubtedly the most famous pop star on the planet today, a keen smoker who made the switch once vaping really proved to be a safer alternative.
Willie Nelson- The famous country music singer who is famous for far more than just his music these days is a vaper as well.
Skrillex- The world famous DJ and one of the godfathers of mainstream Dub-step, he made the switch from smoking to vaping around 5 years ago.
So as you can see the list of vaping musicians are growing by the year, especially when you put them alongside actors such as Leonardo Di Caprio and Jack Nicholson, some of them represent cool. So seeing them make the switch over from smoking to vaping is brilliant to see, with some huge names in that list, which is not exhaustive by any means. So now we have seen some of the examples of musical vapers, it is time to really delve into why the music industry is embracing vaping more than ever. But first, why is this such an important thing for both the industry and the world?
The Influence of Smoking
Many people talk about smoking in popular culture and use Movies as the best example. Certainly seeing actors on screen with a cigarette in hand was always deemed cool it influenced generations to take up smoking as a result and thankfully we have seen a clamp down on such measures given what we knowe about smoking. However the music industry representing coolness have always been just as guilty as smoking become part of their image. Everyone from Elvis and The Beatles to David Bowie and Oasis, smoking has always been hand in hand with music. The famous Oasis song cigarettes and alcohol shows just how much it influenced the music scene over the decades. Go back over the years and the cool musicians were all pictured at one time or another with a cigarette in hand. Even the late Otis Redding sang about smoking way back in the 60s and plenty of rock music in the 70s and 80s used it as a means to be cool. Axel Rose used it as part of his image off stage but he wasn’t the only one. It isn’t difficult to find smoking and musicians way back and this was part of the problem.
So in seeing the music industry take that image and twist it into vaping now, it proves that only can vaping be used by the cool people but more importantly, musicians are ready to support and use an industry that is a far safer alternative to their old nasty smoking habits. So the next question to ask is simply this, why is the music industry adapting to the vaping industry far more than ever before?
We can’t really gloss over this point, musicians health is paramount and the damage that smoking can cause to important parts of a musicians arsenal including their throat and lungs is vital to be looked after. Just take a look at bands such as Bring me the Horizon or Killswitch Engage over the years, BMTH changed their music style to suit a damaged vocal chord and Killswitch lost their inspirational front man. So taking this into account, you can see why musicians would rather make the switch over to vaping to keep themselves fit and healthy for performing on stage.
When you start to see vaping show up in areas such as Hip Hop then you really start to consider how vaping can really benefit artists over smoking. Rappers who are famed for their fast lyrics and spitting bars suddenly find themselves with a much better lung capacity as a result of making the switch. Energetic performers and dancers suddenly have a second wind after performing for an hour solid, it even keeps their pitch perfect voice intact for much longer. Even the aspects of ageing that smoking brings is removed by making the switch over, the eternally young artists can remain looking their perfect self for much longer than ever before without those wrinkles and everything else smoking causes.
Another aspect of vaping that the musicians more than anyone else is embracing is the business aspect of vaping, a potentially untapped market for many business orientated individuals. We have seen everything from endorsements to product releases, vaping has really become a new avenue for music artists. So let’s take a look at some of the biggest profile artists who have decided to turn to vaping as a business or a way to make some more of that money.
Arguably the most well known example in the UK at very least, Professor green was a famous British rapper who combined his street style lyrics with some modernised music. He was massive at one point in the country so it may strike you as a little odd that one of his passions these days is vaping.
It started around 3 years ago when Professor Green was living in London with a friend who introduced him to vaping. Professor Green, Stephen in real life was a smoker but the enjoyment of vaping took him instantly and he become a vaping advocate overnight. However that is not where this story ends, as Stephen and his friend decided that their passion was big enough to go into business for themselves and they launched their own E-Liquid range which has proven to be a hit around the UK. Over the last few years it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Professor Green to be taking over vape stands at Expos promoting his range. He even opened up his own vaping store down south which him and his friend run to this day.
Another name that you wouldn’t immediately jump to when it comes to vaping, Lilly has been one of the alternative darlings of the English music scene for around 10 years now. Cutting a pop style of music with attitude that is reminiscent of growing up on the streets of the UK, Lilly has proven to be rather successful with it all.
So where does Lilly Allen and vaping come into play? It all became apparent way back in 2014 when she released the music video Hard out Here and immediately got met with a large wave of backlash from the media for showing her dancers in the video using cigalike products. It was one of the first real mainstream exposures of vaping in the music industry to such an extent and as a result she was attacked for her role as a role model to teens. It was later revealed that she was paid to product place in the video showing if nothing else the potential monetary opportunity that musicians suddenly had.
Then last year Lilly appeared again as the face of the Vype collaboration with House of Holland featuring her representing the brand. In advertising campaigns shot by the famous photographer Rankin it combined both fashion and vaping like no-one else had done before. Now on the face of it this is yet another paid promotion by Lilly but again it represents a business opportunity that going back 5 years ago would have never existed. Even as a paid face of a brand, having a famous musician there is always going to help with sales from the general public.
A name you may not be familiar with when it comes to music but in terms of the Hip Hop scene, the man is a goliath in terms of business. A long time collaborator with Lil Wayne, he is known for not only his rapping but his producer skills and most importantly his business skills. He has formed STUNNA into an empire over in America like other Rappers have been able to and the product like ranges from rolling papers to Vodka.
However the most interesting thing about Birdman is the sudden emergence of his own brand of E-liquid that has came to market in America, offering a flavour range that is designed for the hip hop style community and part of his massive STUNNA brand. What really stand out with this case is that E-liquids are becoming more and more fashionable to market, especially if you are famous. We have seen the likes of Professor Green do it this side of the water but rappers creating their own is a sign that vaping is starting to get big business now and everyone wants a slice.
After taking a trip down the music scene when it comes to vaping we can really see how it is starting to take over year after year. From a passion of a rapper all the way to it being part of an empire, vaping is becoming more and more mainstream within the music industry. Whether it is product placements in videos that we often see in the Hip Hop community or singers lending their name and face to a brand for a few extra pounds in their back pockets, it really is starting to take over. It just doesn’t stop there neither, we see many music artists making the switch and publicly speaking about it for health benefits that it brings. As much as we can scoff from our regular old lives, seeing the likes of Ronnie Wood vaping can inspire entire generations of older smokers to finally make the switch and quit. Seeing cool individuals from thrash and rock actively promoting vaping as part of their lifestyle after being avid smokers may start to normalise vaping for the generations who still cling to the last hope that smoking is still cool. The hipsters choice of poison, could we soon enough see a vape device being the cool thing for musicians to be using? As influential as pictures from the 60s and 70s from some of the most famous artists of all time, could we one day look back on a world famous artist with vape mod in hand?
Either way it goes to show that when an industry like music starts to take notice of our hobby it can turn a smoking cessation tool into something far bigger with plenty of weight for it to grow even further in the future. How long until that rapper with is product placed vape mod suddenly starts using them outside of the recording studio? Or better yet, the toughest and hardest men in rock using E-cigs as they would have done smoking before them? We can only hope that vaping continues to grow within the music industry, if nothing else but for the health of our favourite artists to continue to keep making music for a long time to come yet.