10 Music Videos That Glamorize Drug Use [NSFW]

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Watching the video for “Synchronize,” Discodeine’s new collaboration with Jarvis Cocker, we couldn’t help but be taken with its darkly beautiful, drug-laced imagery. And it occurred to us that, despite the undeniable synergy between drug-taking and music-making, we actually don’t see too many controlled substances in music videos — perhaps because that shit is bound to get you banned from TV, not to mention condemned as a horrible influence. Now, we certainly don’t endorse (or even, in all cases, understand) the behavior in the clips below, but we can’t deny that they do make drugs look awfully glamorous.

Discodeine feat. Jarvis Cocker — “Synchronize”

A creepy but glamorous video for a creepy but glamorous song. Cocker, who’s written his share of drug songs (see “Sorted for E’s and Whizz,” “Cocaine Socialism”) drifts around a darkened hotel room while pretty young things smoke, suck up powder from each other’s necklaces, make out with liquor in their mouths, and stick themselves with crude-looking needles. Is heroin chic back?

The Dandy Warhols — “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth”

Speaking of heroin chic, remember this late-’90s MTV gem? Directed by David LaChapelle, this bright, retro-tastic pop spectacle gave the world dancing syringes and patients doing Busby Berkeley moves on hospital cots. The Dandy Warhols claimed that heroin was “so passé,” but it never looked glossier than in this video.

Black Mountain — “Old Fangs”

What happens when you get in your beat-up vintage car, pop a handful of pills, and go for a joyride? Does everything start to look like a Hipstamatic photo? Do a trio of sexy, witchy women show up to beguile you? Do you find yourself partaking of some sort of Satanic ritual with those same, now scantily clad, gals? No? Then, friend, you are not riding with Black Mountain.

Primal Scream — “Higher Than the Sun”

No one’s shown taking drugs in this video, but come on: It’s Primal Scream, the song is called “Higher Than the Sun,” and it features band members and various lovelies gyrating amid psychedelic colors in a state of beautiful, beautiful dissociation.

Spiritualized — “Soul on Fire”

Has anyone written prettier, lusher drug-induced symphonies (or employed more pharmaceutical imagery) than Jason Pierce, who before forming Spiritualized released an album called Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To with his band Spacemen 3? In “Soul on Fire,” Pierce employs his talent for making illness look romantic — check that hospital room, and the parade of syringes.

jj — “Let Go”

For jj, smoking (Is it a joint? Or just a brown cigarette? Who knows?) is a tranquil and spiritual act. Oh, the serene glory of exhalation! And then, suddenly, the blood part…

Wavves — “No Hope Kids”

Wavves is totally okay now, guys! He’s no longer having ecstasy-fueled onstage meltdowns! Instead, he’s going on tour and having fun! He drinks a lot of beers! He puff, puff, passes! He is just like you! He is not a witch.

The Lemonheads — “My Drug Buddy”

Evan Dando’s drug buddy is a fetching lass who blows bubbles over the detritus of a meal he once tried to eat. Or something. Look how studly Dando looked in his ’90s prime! Who wouldn’t want to be his beloved drug buddy?

Soulwax — “E Talking”

It would be so handy to know which substances everyone in the club is doing. Your pal? His eyes look all funny because he’s on acid. That girl complaining about the music? Barbituates. The lady who’s fuckin’ lovin’ every minute of it? Cocaine. And as for the old guy in the funny hat? He is, of course, a narc — and here’s his drink getting spiked with ecstasy.

The Prodigy — “Smack My Bitch Up”

This mother of all banned music videos breaks just about every rule. In fact, the coke and hard liquor that fuel our protagonist’s night of excess are nothing compared to the glamorized sexual assault spree that follows. Of course, we’re not supposed to be offended because — spoiler alert! — when our hero looks in the mirror at the end of the clip, we find out that he’s a she. Deep!