"Now we have pills, now we also have Molly (the crystal or powder form of the drug MDMA), and I would say to the late 2000s, we also had the ecstasy rush," Hall said. "So we're dealing with different levels of drugs that are now being considered recreational, which is a very dangerous situation."
A long history in the music business
"I can mingle with the stars and throw a party on Mars / I am a prisoner, locked up behind Xanax bars" - Lil Wayne, "Feel Like Dying"
But journalist and San Francisco State adjunct professor Davey D said drugs have long been a problem in the music industry as a whole, not just hip-hop. Artists referencing drugs goes back as far as jazz star Cab Calloway's "Reefer Man" in 1932, and use has been well-known on down through rockers like Kurt Cobain and others who suffered overdoses.
"The whole adage behind 'sex drugs and rock 'n' roll' is something that people kind of conveniently forget about," he said. "Not to say that it's right, but in terms of suddenly saying 'Well these guys are [rapping] about purple syrup' and overlook the LSD and psychedelic stage in music ... is just ridiculous."
Davey D said the issue of drugs in hip hop is "systemic with an economic incentive to keep it going."
"When these artists are on drugs and they are able to do their music or it gives them a certain notoriety, then everybody's cool with it because it kind of adds to the allure and mystique," he said. "The artists themselves, sure they should take some responsibility, but if they actually have a substance abuse problem, whether they are a drinker or whether they are someone using mind altering substances...then they actually have a disease that needs to be cured, and I don't know if you suddenly do that on your own.
"So then we have to ask questions of the multimillion-dollar record label that they are on: 'Why are you putting this out and why are you allowing this to exist?'"
Harold Owens, the senior director for MusiCares Musicians Assistance Program -- which is funded by the Grammy Foundation -- has witnessed the addiction struggles of musicians across various genres. He's staged interventions for some.
There is a stigma in the hip-hop community, Owens said, about coming clean and discussing it in a genre that many feel has helped promote drug use.
"There could be many sober hip-hop artists -- in the community that have gotten sober, or at least more than a few that just don't talk about it." Owens said.
JasFly, who is also a cast member of the soon-to-debut VH1 reality show "The Gossip Game," which explores the lives of female journalists and bloggers who cover hip-hop, said she worries there may be more of a focus on preserving Lil Wayne's image. Helping him, if that's what he needs, doesn't seem to be a priority, she said.
"There seems to be a lot of concern about Lil Wayne the business," she said. "But what about Dwayne Carter the person?"