It was a little over a year ago when August Alsina shared a clip from a sit-down interview with Jada Pinkett Smith and revealed he had a liver disease. While that wasn’t followed up by anything further, the R&B star has now made new revelations in a new interview with Jada for her online show “Red Table Talk,” which is published on Facebook. A few years ago, August formed a bound with the Smith family, and they have embraced him very closely.
Sitting down with Jada, her mother Adrienne Banfield Norris, and her sister-in-law Ashley Marie, Alsina opens up like never before on his battle with drug addiction. While alcohol and marijuana were regular parts of his life for many years and during his early career, it was pills, primarily percocets, that overtook him following an extended hospital stay in 2014 after collapsing and falling off stage in New York. According to Jada, he was taking 6 percocets a day, an issue that he didn’t realize was an addiction, because he felt it was under his control and he wasn’t acting in the ways the addicts he previously knew had.
“My stepfather was addicted to crack, my father was addicted to crack and an alcoholic, so my introduction to drugs was that,” says August. “Seeing my stepfather pawn the whole house for some drugs, pawn the car, whatever, my idea of addiction was that.”
He credits Jada as his driving inspiration to get clean. He recalls a conversation that they had while on tour where she broke down expressing how deeply sad and concerned she was for him. The amount of love that she was giving him opened his eyes to the severity of his situation.
“Anyone that ever experienced an addiction with pills, you have to pay the piper,” he says. “It’s not even an experience that I can tell you how or what it feels like, but…withdraws is not a good feeling at all … the shit that I had to go through to get away from those pills, I felt like a bus ran me over.”
It has become clear to August that personal issues might have led him into this addiction, but the history of its effect on his family has given him the strength to battle it.
“This is a fight, this is deeper than just myself…my father died from this, it took him out,” he says.
Watch the full interview below, and stay tuned for new music from August Alsina, which is hopefully coming very soon.