By: Astharte De Los Santos
Hip Hop Sipping on Lean Drink
Hip Hop has a way of reflecting what’s going on in our world today. From new fashion trends to songs glamorizing Miley Cirus twerking antics to speaking out against police brutality. From insignificant twitter rants to real issues that affect our community, one thing’s for sure: everybody is listening. Hip hop has been known to surface in the quietest suburbs and bumped in non-English-speaking countries that don’t speak English. Rap makes sure to let you in on what is “cool”. Especially nowadays, where sipping Sizzurp is in.
From the beginning, Hip Hop has been used as a vehicle of self-expression. We can’t forget that many injustices that were happening in the inner cities, were being brought to light.
There is also a negative side to this powerful source of self-expression. Critics say that Hip Hop encourages misogyny, violence against women, criminal activity, and drug use. However, many think the perspective is all wrong, the real question we should pose would be: does Hip Hop encourage or reflect existing drug use?
If you listen closely to Hip Hop, you can hear many references to drug use. Rappers like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, are very open about their marijuana use. All over their social media, they post pictures of their latest exotic bud. Snoop Dogg has even become “a self-proclaimed” advocate for the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
In recent years, rapper Eminem has shown his appreciation for prescription medication, with songs like “Purple Pills”, in which the video mimics a psychedelic high. His addiction got so bad that he eventually had to enter rehab and put his career on hold.
It is rare to hear that your favorite rapper died of a drug overdose, but nowadays everybody’s sipping Sizzurp in double cups, of course! The new favorite “drank” that has urban artists and other celebrities all over Hip hop in the hospital for “exhaustion”.
This “purple drank” is the culprit behind Lil Wayne’s hospitalization in 2013 for seizures after a reported Sizzurp binge. That is when his struggles with lean drink became apparent because he was so close to dying from that incident. He attempted to stay clean but lately, he’s been pictured in clubs while globetrotting with what appears to be double cups.
What is Lean Drink (Sizzurp)?
A.K.A. lean drink, purple drank, dirty sprite.
Is a slang term used to describe a concoction that includes a prescription-strenghth cough syrup, codeine (an opiate) and promethazine (a downer). The cough syrup is usually taken in doses much higher than recommended by the label.
Preferably mixed with Sprite or Mountain Dew and adding a Jolly Rancher at the end for a tangy flavor. It’s purple color usually comes from the dyes in the syrup. It’s effects are reported to be euphoric. Along with an immediate motor-skill impairment, lethargy, drowsiness, and a dissociative feeling from all parts of the body.
Most users like the relaxing feeling when they lean, they are after the calming effects of the mixture, but it’s usually sipped along with marijuana and alcohol.
History of Sizzurp
Sizzurp is said to have originated around the 1960’s in Houston, Texas. Blues musicians from the third and fifth ward in Houston would take Robitussin and cut it with beer. Eventually, the beer would be substituted by wine.
Later on in the 80’s and 90’s the formula was made a bit more sophisticated by naming codeine promethazine cough syrup, lemon-flavored soda and Jolly Ranchers as the main ingredient to this sedating bomb. Sizzurp is even responsible for inspiring “chopped and screwed” a style of hip hop music characterized by taking a beat and slowing it down, mimicking the effects of the purple drank.
It was through “chopped and screwed” that DJ Screw was able to popularize drinking Sizzurp. It first became popular for Houston rappers to sip lean drink but then through songs like “Sippin’ on Some Syrup”, by southern rap legends Three 6 Mafia and UGK, it became popular nationwide.
The popularity of lean drink is dangerous. It takes away the severity of drinking this highly medicated concoction. While there are many songs that suggest that drinking lean is cool, the reality of it is that it contains a controlled substance which, if taken in large quantities, can cause major health issues and possibly death.
Dangers of Sipping Lean Drink
In 2004, the University of Texas found that 8.3% of secondary school students in Texas had taken codeine syrup to get high. The DEA reported busts involving codeine syrup all over the U.S primarily in Texas and Florida. It has become a trend to sip Sizzurp, everywhere. It went from being a party drink made famous by hip hop music to a dangerous controlled substance disguised by teens and passed around in school.
One of the main reasons people enjoy lean drink and come back for more is because of its sweet and tangy flavor used to mask the medicinal taste. This might be very hazardous if the drink is left unattended around children. It is alarming when controlled substances are being sweetened and dangerously mixed to create something so potent that it can cause respiratory depression.
It also causes:
- raspy voice
- slower heart rate
- slurred speech
- lack of coordination
It has been widely speculated that the 2007 death of rapper Pimp C, from rap duo UGK overdosed on Sizzurp. Although the coroner found that the levels of codeine/promethazine were not enough to cause death, the effects of the codeine on his respiratory system along with his sleep apnea could have been at fault.
Lyrics suggest that Lil Wayne may have been using lean drink for years now in spite of the legal trouble he’s been in due to sipping Sizzurp. In a song called “Lock and Load” from 2005, he raps, “I’m probably drinkin’ that syrup/ Thinking I won’t slip/ Even though I’m leaning like a broken hip”.
The most ironic story was about DJ Screw, who was essentially responsible for creating a style of rap that glamorized Sizzurp. He made it so popular to lean and had urban communities dancing and singing to his codeine-laced tracks. He actually died of a codeine-promethazine-alcohol overdose on November 16, 2000. It wasn’t surprising that he leaned. What was surprising is that he was sipping Sizzurp for years and he was still a victim of a drug overdose.
If there is one thing to take away from this it’s to stop sipping Sizzurp now. This is a medicine laced drink that might relax you but you might not wake up from it the next time. It takes just a little extra to send you into respiratory or cardiac arrest and mixing it with other drugs or alcohol can cause even more adverse effects.
Dependency on sizzurp is real. The concoction itself has no smell, tastes great, and can be easily masked, making it perfect for teens to conceal Sizzurp.
Call Ocean Breeze Today for Sizzurp Treatment
If you or any of your loved ones are using Sizzurp, it’s time to consider treatment. The most dangerous reason to stay away from it is that you build tolerance for it over time. This makes you want more and more, making the user want to increase their dosage. This is the cause of most of the Sizzurp overdoses.
Watch the signs that your loved ones are displaying and be a source of support if there is dependency. At Ocean Breeze Recovery, you can find a relaxing and intimate environment to turn over a new leaf and begin a life free of Sizzurp or any other abused substance.