Lil39 Wayne39s seizures is cough syrup the cause? Music The
Sizzurp isn't over-the-counter stuff, it's a combination of prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and, often, the anti-allergy drug.
Lil' Wayne's seizures: is cough syrup the cause?
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As rapper Lil' Wayne recovers in hospital from a series of seizures, rumours abound as to what put him there. "Sources" say exhaustion and overwork, while "insiders" are reporting that his hospitalisation is a direct result of his addiction to a potent cough-syrup mixture called, variously, sizzurp, purple drank and lean. Clearly, this isn't the kind of thing you get from a Buttercup Syrup or Tixylix habit.
The late DJ Screw is widely credited as having popularised the drink, and references to it started to seep into hip-hop music in the 1990s. Many Southern rap albums were released in a bonus "Chopped and Screwed" version, a remixing style pioneered by Screw, in which BPMs are slowed down radically and tracks chopped up to creat double time beats, resulting in a sound that some say was directly influenced by Screw's syrup use. By 2000, the Oscar-winning group Three 6 Mafia had released a single called Sippin' on Some Sizzurp, featuring Houston rap legends UGK. The latter duo recorded tracks such as Sippin' and Spinning and Purple Drank, and the cocktail was implicated in the 2007 death of member Pimp C, as well as in the death of DJ Screw in 2000. Codeine can cause respiratory depression, but promethazine is more worrying – when combined with alcohol or overused it can cause central nervous system depression with symptoms including cardiac arrest and respiratory failure.
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Some attribute the initial popularity of cough syrup to punitive laws on usage of drugs such as heroin and cocaine in Texas, while some feel it is the result of a culture in inner-city drug usage, wherein those using crack and coke are scorned, and those using prescription drugs celebrated. What's certain is that with Lil' Wayne having once rapped "I'm not a rookie, I'm a pro... methazine fiend" and references to it in songs by Eminem, Mac Miller, Drake, Ludacris, Kanye West and A$AP Rocky, sizzurp has gone way beyond Houston and into the wider hip-hop culture. It's not just in Wayne's world, it's worldwide.
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Whether or not the rapper's current ailments can be linked to his intake of "syrup", what's beyond doubt is that he's proselytised for its pleasures before. Sizzurp isn't over-the-counter stuff, it's a combination of prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and, often, the anti-allergy drug promethazine, with soft drinks such as Sprite and Mountain Dew, usually drunk from a styrofoam cup. Some users will drop in a Jolly Rancher sweet to mask its medicinal taste. And, while drug experts say its use is now widespread, what's also certain is that the combination originated in Houston, Texas, and is indelibly linked with that city's rich hip-hop culture.