Bow Wow is talking openly about his own battle with drug use following the tragic death of rapper Mac Miller from an apparent overdose.
The Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta star recently took to Twitter to urge his young followers to stop taking drugs by describing his own experience becoming addicted to lean -- a mixture of codeine and soda. Bow Wow, whose real name is Shad Moss, says he was high from drinking lean every day while working on his 2007 album with singer Omarion, Face Off.
"To the youth -- stop with these dumb a** drugs," Bow Wow wrote. "I'm going to let something out. When me and Omarion worked on FACE OFF album, I was high off lean everyday! When y'all saw me on BET going off on Torae I was high off lean. My attitude, everything changed. My fans started to turn on me, my family too."
"I never promoted lean in my songs," he continued. "The whole time I was on the UCP tour with Chris [Brown] I WAS SIPPING 4’s at least 7 times a day. I was addicted until our show in Cincinnati... I came off stage and passed out, woke up in the hospital [and] was having withdrawals."
Bow Wow admits that he was drinking cough syrup to "be cool."
"I never felt a pain like that ever," he said of going through withdrawals. "It was summer but I was walking round with 3 hoodies on because I was so cold. I missed the Chicago show of that tour, Baltimore show, BECAUSE I WAS F**KING HIGH AND SICK!!!! That sh** is not cool and I was doing it to be cool!"
"Kick that sh**!" he stressed. "Be a good son or daughter. Be the best you. Ima start being more vocal. We gotta save the youth from going out early. Parents watch your kids. Explain to them. We want y'all to live man. I almost died f**king with syrup. To this day I'm affected, my stomach will never be the same and it hasn't been. DRUG FREE IS THE WAY TO BE! Smarten up tighten up out here. We can't lose no more of you. Not one! I love all y'all. The young artist all the kids around the world... don't follow a trend. Break the cycle. PEACE."
He later notes that his drug addiction was covered up.
"Go back and watch the Face Off show BET gave us!" he wrote. "Look how dumb I looked. My ranting, I was angry every day. They try to protect the truth by saying I was dehydrated... nawww bro. I WAS HIGH OFF PROMETHAZINE CODEINE! Actavis. SAY NO TO THESE DRUGS."
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Miller's longtime friend, Shane Powers, praised the late rapper's ex-girlfriend, Ariana Grande, for being "unbelievably involved and helpful" with Miller's sobriety journey while the two were in a relationship. Grande and Miller split in May after nearly two years of dating.
"[Mac and Ariana] were very much in love and I have to say, she was incredible when he was first sobering up," Powers said on the latest episode of his podcast, The Shane Show. "She was a f**king G to him. There could not have been anybody more supportive of him being sober than Ariana. I saw that, I was around it, I took phone calls from her. 'How do I help? What do I do?' This little girl was unbelievably involved and helpful to him being healthy."
"Whether he's an addict or not, the way that Mac partied was not healthy," Powers continued. "[And] there was no one in his life more ready to go to the wall for him when it came to him being sober. [Ariana] was an unbelievably stabilizing force in his life and she was deeply helpful and effective in keeping Mac sober and helping him get sober. She was all about him being healthy. Period."
For more on Miller's death, watch the video below:
Mac Miller Honored by Fans In Hometown Vigil at Pittsburgh's Blue Slide Park
Lil Xan Pays Tribute to Mac Miller With New Face Tattoo
Mac Miller's Mom Posts Sweet Photo Following the Rapper's Tragic Death