Sizzurp, lean, syrup, drank, barre, purple jelly, Texas tea and Tsikuni are all “popular” names for the toxic mixture of  prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine mixed with  ingredients such as Sprite  or Mountain Dew and pieces of Jolly Rancher candy.  Although the drug has been around since the 60’s, it wasn’t until Three Six Mafia’s song, “Sippin On Some Syrup”, brought it mainstream attention.

This past weekend, it was widely reported that Lil Wayne suffered numerous seizures due to a sizzurp overdose. Although TMZ, had him near death, other sources claimed otherwise, even the rapper himself via Twitter.

Lil Wayne has a history of bragging about his use and addiction to potent concoction.  In his freestyle to “Throw Some D’s“, he claims “I’m not a rookie, I’m a pro..methazine fiend” as well as stating “You know what’s in my Styrofoam…what? S-Y-R-UP.” He also mentions the substance in the track “Barry Bonds” from Kanye West’s Graduation album, saying “My drink is still pinker than the Easter Rabbit,”a reference to the color of the beverage.

Wayne doesn’t have a problem admitting his addiction. In a 2008 interview with MTV,  he discussed his battles with sizzurp:

On Sunday night,during a concert in Newark, New Jersey, Wayne explained to the audience that sipping syrup — a combination made up chiefly of promethazine and codeine, which is supposed to be prescribed by doctors for severe colds and pneumonia — is a part of the culture in the South (although Philadelphia is also notorious for syrup). He also talked about how he gets flak for it.

Wayne has said he’s been hearing about how he needs to cut back on syrup more than ever in the wake of Pimp C’s death in December. The UGK member’s death was ruled accidental and due to a deadly combination of syrup and his sleep-apnea condition. Pimp was the most prominent name in the hip-hop community to have a syrup-related death, although Houston MC Big Moe and the legendary DJ Screw have also had their untimely passings tied to syrup consumption. Pimp’s partner Bun B recently went public and called the popularity of syrup — also known as “lean,” “Texas tea” and “drank” — in the South an “epidemic” and said anyone who uses it may want to take a long look at themselves.

“No, he hasn’t talked to me,” said Wayne, sitting in his tour bus in his native New Orleans, about Bun, a longstanding friend of the Cash Money Millionaires family. “But I’m going through that same sh– with my friends, with my mom. Everybody wants me to stop all this and all that. It ain’t that easy.”

Weezy said he can’t just quit cold turkey.

“Do your history, do your research,” he vented. “It ain’t that easy — feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that sh–. You gotta learn how to stop, you gotta go through detox. You gotta do all kinds of stuff. Like I said, I’m a selfish-ass n—a. I feel like everything I do is successful and productive. It’s gonna be hard to tell me I’m slipping. It’s hard to sit and tell a n—a ‘Stop.’ ‘F—, how can we tell this n—a to stop when every f—ing thing he do is successful? This n—a is making progress. He just went and talked to kids and that sh– was amazing.’ Feel me? So what am I doing wrong?”.

With the deaths of rappers Pimp C and DJ Screw, you’d think that would be more than enough motivation. As with any addiction, just because people want you to stop, doesn’t mean you feel it’s time to.

But what makes sizzurp the “in” drug?  Not only for rappers, but also athletes, and teenagers? Could it be the euphoric side effects, lethargy, drowsiness and feelings of dissociation? But like other drugs, is it really worth risking your life?

If the rumors are true about Wayne’s overdose, and his near brush with death, maybe this will be the final wake up call he needs to convince him that sipping on sizzurp is a death wish waiting to happen.

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