Pop Life: The Juice Is Loose

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Thank God for steroids — finally, we have a rock & roll drug scandal that people can actually get excited about. Can you imagine how awesome it would have been if human growth hormone and anabolic steroids had existed in the Seventies? Crosby would have crushed Stills and Nash with his bare hands onstage in the middle of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." John Bonham's "Moby Dick" solo would have gone on for four days until he bit off John Paul Jones' right arm and used it to club a few roadies to death. Elton John would have played "Bennie and the Jets" with one hand while using the other to win the bronze for the javelin throw in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Rock-star drug disasters aren't what they used to be, which is why it was weird to see the Albany Times-Union report that Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Timbaland, Wyclef and others had been mentioned in a steroid investigation. Why should baseball players get to Bogart all the drug-controversy action? The juice can't be good for the central nervous system, especially the brain — everybody remembers when alleged 'roid-rager Roger Clemens threw a broken bat at an opposing player in the middle of a freaking World Series game, later claiming he thought it was a baseball. Let's just say this may help to explain why 50 Cent thought the song about the candy store was a good idea.

Fiddy, Mary and crew stand accused of ordering from one of the same doctors who allegedly supplied wrestler Chris Benoit, whose steroids may have helped him become a brain-dead religious fanatic who murdered his whole family. (Mary denies taking the drugs, and the others have yet to comment.) The best detail is Blige allegedly getting her goodies delivered in hotels under the name "Marlo Stanfield" — the Baltimore drug lord on The Wire and the iciest killer on TV. We all already knew not to fuck with Mary J. — but damnation! 50 Cent allegedly used the not-at-all­suspicious alias "Michael Jordan," which is nowhere near as clever, but still a better idea than "Curtis." Wyclef probably just got the drugs delivered to "the Guy Who Said 'One Time' in the Fugees Song."

Baseball fans were universally horrified at the steroid tales in the Mitchell report, because they puncture our national fantasy that athletes are triumphs of nature, instead of the Frankenstein monsters they've always been. In baseball, it's fine for Roger Clemens to get a team of surgeons to build him a pitching arm in the Eighties but not so fine for him to beef it up by shooting pig hormones. The music world has always been more upfront about its drug problems, but this is something new. Gangstas are one thing (Fiddy always embraced the "into taking drugs" community), but just wait till they start busting indie rockers — maybe the next time Arcade Fire steal their fans' basketballs, or the Shins dude roughs up his America's Next Top Model girlfriend over a bag of Del Taco. And this is the first drug scandal in ages that hasn't involved Britney, tragically too busy sipping her Purple Monster cocktail of vodka, Nyquil, Red Bull and Pepto. Just wait till she discovers steroids and goes from "Mrs. Oh My God, That Britney's Shameless" to "Mrs. Please Remove Your Umbrella From My Esophagus." Now that will be gangsta.