In our younger years, taking cough medicine was like punishment for being sick so it may be hard for someone to understand why anyone would want to drink Cough Syrup just because. However, the mixture of Cough Syrup, Sprite, Jolly Ranchers (and in some cases, Frntanyl), has become Hip Hop’s most popular choice of Beverage. Originating in the South, Purple Drank, also known as Good Drank, Sizzurp, or Dirty Sprite, got its buzz after rappers like Juicy J and Lil Wayne made reference to it in their music. The goal behind drinking this concoction is to get the drinker high, however, this high has proven to have very dangerous effects to it.
First, the cough syrup that is needed to make “sizzurp” contains both Codeine and Promethazine (which are meant to be taken in doses), but by the time cups are filled with it and Sprite is added in; nine times out of ten one has already exceed the recommended dosage. Once this drink has been digested, the drinker becomes drowsy and an out of body feeling arises; otherwise known as becoming High/Intoxicated. Now this may sound cool to some people but, this is very unhealthy and could cause life long, or even fatal problems. Since one is consuming a large amount of Cough Syrup (especially when the body is not suffering from any form of illness), problems such as: Seizures, Kidney Issues, Respiratory Failure, or Cardiac Arrest could ooccur. Unfortunately, multiple people involved in the Rap game have suffered from these symptoms; which have unfortunately led into their death.
Up and coming rapper Lil Peep passed on November 15th, 2017 due to a suspected drug overdose on Opiods; one of those being Fentanyl, which could be found in Purple Drank. Fentanyl, along with the cough syrup in this deadly drink, is legally classified as a Depressant. Within hours before his death in Tucson, Arizona, Lil Peep posted videos on Instagram of him popping pills. He was in Arizona for a concert but after he was discovered unresponsive in his tour bus, his plan to rock the stage came to a halt at only 21 years of age.
On January 19th, 2018, Chicago rapper Fredo Santana died from a seizure due to his battle with Liver and Kidney problems. Similar to Lil Peep, Santana was open about his addiction to Purple Drank. This struggle was the ultimate reason behind his failing organ issues. Santana was the older cousin to fellow rapper Chief Keef, and was known for hits such as: “Jealous” and “Bird Talk”. Fredo Santana was only 27 at the time of his untimely death, leaving behind an eight month year old Son.
Lil Wayne, another, yet well known rapper, who is a public victim of this addictive cocktail. Fortunately Wayne is one of the luckier ones as he is still living. The artist, who was once named, ‘The Greatest Rapper Alive’, suffers from constant seizures due to his frequent consumption; yet claims that his body “does not feel right” unless he is drinking it.
Thankfully Rappers are beginning to put down the Purple Drank and instead use their voices to advocate on behalf of the many dangers that result from the drink. Wiz Khalifa, a good friend of Lil Peep, recently spoke up against the drink’s usage and admitted that he now tells his friends who drink it that it’s “not cool”. Popular producer, DJ Mustard, took to Instagram to show himself pouring out Cough Syrup in his sink while West Coast Rapper Mozzy made a personal shout out to the younger generation who are misled by the lean movement.
“Any young [person] doing that [lean] bruh, this should influence you to stop”
Seeing Rappers who the younger generation often pay attention to speak out against something so potentially fatal to them is not only productive, it fights against almost every negative stereotype placed upon the Hip Hop community. Because of Purple Drank, the world has lost two influential artists that inspired many and could have potentially inspired more. However, if we continue to enlighten people about the dangers of this beverage, it is possible that the trend will soon become something of the past. If you or anyone you know happens to drink Purple Drank, please notify them of the consequences and inspire them to pour it out, not up.