A growing number of artists are waking up from their drug induced hazes in 2017, whether it be by choice (like Meek Mill) or by force (like Fredo Santana, who suffered from kidney and liver failure). Now, Hip Hop fans can add Phil Katsabanis — better known as Stitches — to that list.
The Florida rapper rose to prominence when his video for “Brick In Yo Face” went viral via WorldStarHipHop. As Stitches explained to ThisIs50’s Ashlee Ray, the video’s success changed his life at an opportune moment.
“I had $5,000 left to my name,” he told Ray in a new interview. After a police raid, the rapper had to make an important decision about what to do with his last five bands. “I didn’t want to sell drugs anymore … the top spot on WorldStar cost $5,000.”
Overnight, the rapper went from 0-100. “I woke up to hundreds of messages from people saying ‘I believe in you.’ I just started crying,” he said. “It was like God heard me.”
Since then, the “#FUCKAJOB” rapper has been living a hard life. After hitting rock bottom, Stitches recently decided to turn his life around for both him and his family.
“I want to make positive music that inspires people to make better decisions,” the 22-year-old father of three said.
When pressed (lightly) about sobriety by Ray, Stitches noted that he only smokes weed now. “For me, that’s sober.”
Compared to his previous daily routine, weed seems tame. “I was drinking a pint of lean a day, doing an 8-ball of cocaine, doing Percocet, Xanax, totaling porches,” he admitted. “I was out of my mind.”
He noted his quick ascent to fame as a partial catalyst for his over-the-top lifestyle.
“I was new to the fame, and a lot of it was very overwhelming, a lot of friends turned to enemies … a lot of drama,” he explained. “Being famous is a curse and a gift, but sometimes it’s more of a curse.”
Now that he’s in a better place, he’s started making amends to people he’s wrong.
“Now that I have a clear mind, I realize that these are human beings with feelings,” he said. “I don’t want to hurt anybody … I want to bring people together.”
He’s quick to say he doesn’t feel any guilt for his past mistakes though. It’s what led him to his new positive direction.
“I don’t even like to talk about negative shit anymore,” he said. “I see the videos I made when I was 18, 19 and 20 and think to myself, ‘Who the fuck is that guy?’”
Listen to the new positive Stitches on his new single, “I Cry,” below. Check out his interview with ThisIs50 above.