We have previously blogged about the use of “syrup” in conjunction with the rise of screw music in Houston, Texas. Syrup (a.k.a. purple drink, lean, or barre) is created from mixing cough syrup containing codeine along with soda and jolly ranchers. Although cough syrup with codeine is a prescription drug, it is still being abused by many of those associated with the Houston rap scene. Taking syrup is very dangerous; DJ screw died from a codeine overdose.
|Shipment of cough syrup with codeine, the main ingredient in lean|
Why has this drug become so popular? We sat down with a music producer who often spends time with rappers in their studio sessions to answer some questions.
How were you first introduced to lean?
I was introduced to it at a party, but I have seen it used in the studio a lot more as of
Is lean becoming more accepted in hip hop or just in screw music (Houston rap)?
Lean is not only fully accepted in hip hop, but more so in the party scenes and with the
younger generation. I can go to a rave and get lean.
How does lean affect the rapper’s work?
I’ve seen cats on lean come out with some of the most creative rhymes or nastiest beats
ever… then again those dudes, the next moment, are too screwed up to even come up with a verse or a note.
Do most people take lean as a recreational drug or to be accepted within the hip hop culture?
It’s mostly a recreational drug, but I will say that if you know how to get it, you are definitely more accepted
[in the community].
Is there anything else you want to add?
It’s a very addictive habit with fatal results when used incorrectly and while it may
temporarily make you feel a way… the long term results will affect you for years to come.
Taking lean may cause the respiratory system to slow, sometimes to a dangerously low level. If you or someone you know is abusing cough syrup with codeine, please call us at Inspirations for Youth and Families (888-757-6237) before it’s too late.