Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Common, Method Man, Ludacris, and Wiz Khalifa celebrate hip-hop’s 50th with Men’s Health

Written by on August 2, 2023

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Historically, when rappers appear on the covers of magazines, they’re pushing their clout and showing off their diamond-encrusted riches. However, as hip-hop turns 50, some of the genre’s biggest names are gracing covers not to brag about their successes and lit lifestyles but to open up about their health. 

Together, hip-hop icons Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Common, Method Man, Ludacris, and Wiz Khalifa represent the genre on the cover of Men’s Health magazine. The collection of profiles, titled “Hip-Hop Is Life,” highlights the intersection and impact of hip-hop and health as each rapper sat down with the publication to speak on their individual wellness journeys. 

Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Ludacris, 50 Cent, Common, Wiz Khalifa, Hip-hop turns 50, 50th anniversary of hip-hop, Black men's health and wellness, Men's Health magazine, theGrio.com
(left to right) Busta Rhymes, Method Man, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Common, and Wiz Khalifa cover Men’s Health magazine. (Photo courtesy of Men’s Health)

Busta discusses the near-death experience that changed his life. 50 Cent opens up about how he got fit, while Common explains how he’s developed a healthier diet and habits. Method Man reveals how he’s overcome a battle with depression — and why, contrary to (very) popular belief, he is “not a sex symbol.” Ludacris details his disciplined workout regime, and Wiz Khalifa sings the praises of mixed martial arts and cannabis. 

In Busta’s profile, he recalls the 2019 medical emergency in which he lost consciousness after a hard night of partying. While the seminal event inspired his recent physical transformation, two other events led up to it. 

Busta reveals that some time prior, after intimacy with a former partner, he couldn’t catch his breath. Recalling a second instance that caused concern, his son slapped his belly instead of dapping him up, as was his standard greeting. 

“He was just being funny, but these things never happened when I had a six-pack,” Busta said. 

Altogether, those three experiences taught Busta, “The most important thing in life is self-preservation.” 

He added, “Mind, body, and spirit: make sure that you’re in the healthiest space that you can be in so that you can use your better sense of judgment at all times. Go to the gym, eat good, sleep — get it right cuz it’s important.”

As Men’s Health notes, Method Man is beloved by many — but the rapper and actor hasn’t always loved himself. In his profile, he tells the publication how he pushed through poor mental health and bad habits to a better lifestyle. 

“It went from this childhood joy to this euphoric feeling of celebrity to feeling inadequate and not good enough,” he shared. “And not even knowing that I’ve been depressed since I was a youngster. A lot of PTSD I had never dealt with before started resurfacing.”

For Common, the poor health and relatively short lifespan of many of hip-hop’s most legendary talents are at the forefront as he reflects on how the industry could be better at ensuring the health and well-being of its talent.

“I do think one big gap that I wish I was smart enough — and we were more aware enough — to create was a union for people in hip-hop culture and musicians that could have established a way for us to have health care,” he said. 

Common added, “For me, to be a part of the [Screen Actors Guild] union and having health-care benefits and seeing what unions do for people’s health-care benefits makes me wish we would’ve done that for hip-hop. Maybe it can still be done.”

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