Bumb Shah is a rapper from Pakistan. His music is a reflection of his real-life experiences with addiction and recovery. Like many artists, he initially used drugs as a means of fueling his creativity. But before long, full-blown addiction had encroached upon his life.
Thankfully, with the help of his family, he was able to break free from the shackles that drugs held him within. Since then, his music has taken a more positive turn; he uses his talent to hlp others who struggled as he did, educating the Pakistani youth on the dangers of drugs.
Age Nine: Bumb Shah Takes His First Puff From a Cigarette
It has become something of a cliche idea that all it takes is one puff from a cigarette for one to become addicted. However, in Bumb Shah’s case, it was reality.
At age nine, he took a puff from a half-lit cigarette that his father had left in an ashtray. His father was—and still is—his hero, and Bumb Shah thought that by smoking, he could emulate his biggest inspiration.
At the time, he wasn’t even aware of the dangers of smoking. And he certainly wasn’t aware that this moment would be his first step on a dark journey of addiction.
Bumb Shah Discovers His Love of Music
When he hit adolescence, Bumb Shah, like most people his age, discovered music. He was especially fascinated by hip hop, partly due to Bohemia, the first Punjabi-speaking rapper to achieve popularity outside of Pakistan.
But Bumb Shah was not only inspired by Bohemia’s music; he was attracted to his lyrical content, which centered around drugs and decadence.
With the assistance of his new-found habit of smoking hashish (the resin collected from cannabis flowers), Bumb Shah began writing his own raps, and it wasn’t long before his music began to reach an audience.
Bumb Shah Falls Down the Rabbit Hole of Addiction
After his music career began to gain traction, Bumb Shah had a new-found sense of confidence.
And because hashish had fueled his creativity, he began experimenting with other drugs; at one point, he would take whatever drug was offered to him. Eventually, he made his way to cocaine.
As Bumb Shah came to learn, addiction is not cheap, and to afford his habit, he resorted to selling drugs himself. At times, he would even steal from his family, something he regrets deeply to this day.
Bumb Shah Decides to Turn His Life Around
Following the drug-related death of one of his good friends, Bumb Shah was woken up to the reality of his situation: He was an addict, and if he did not leave drugs behind, he would suffer the same fate, leaving everyone close to him in mourning.
However, quitting drugs was no easy task, and the rapper likely underestimated how grueling the withdrawal process would be when he disposed of what remaining drugs he had. As withdrawal symptoms kicked in, his heart began to race, and he eventually fainted. At this point, he had no choice than to confess his addiction to his family.
Bumb Shah’s Father Helps Him Get Clean
With limited access to rehabilitation resources in Pakistan, Bumb Shah was lucky in having a family who was committed as he was to his sobriety. While his father’s makeshift treatment may have been harsh, it saved the artist’s life.
His father created a “rehab center” in their family home, sequestering him for 31 days. During this time, he experienced the worst emotional and physical pain of his life, as his body begged him for the drugs he had become so reliant upon. During this time, he went days at a time without sleep, experiencing suicidal ideations.
However, he was able to come out the other side, his withdrawal symptoms eventually receding. He continues to make music, no longer requiring drugs to fuel his creativity. Instead of reflecting a decadent lifestyle, his music now promotes positivity.
Bumb Shah Is a Hero
Bumb Shah is not a hero simply because he makes good music; his heroism is rooted in his ability to use his talents to promote a positive message. To get to where he is today, he endured hellish experiences that he would not wish upon anyone else.
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While music was what initially influenced him to try drugs, he believes that music can just as much be an influence in people’s decisions to get sober. This is especially important in his own community, where one in every 40 people is addicted to heroin.
Bumb Shah believes that anyone who is willing to take the time and effort to support their peers is a hero, though his personal hero is his father, without whom his sobriety journey may not have been possible.
Bumb Shah Resources
To learn more about Bumb Shah and his music, please see the following links: