Post-Tha Carter II and right up until the year or so after Tha Carter III, you couldn't get Lil Wayne to shut the fuck up about slugging back big Styrofoam cups of Purple Drank, an unholy brew of soda, jolly ranchers, and cough syrup.
He opened his epic-as-the-original freestyle remix of Rich Boy's 2007 single, "Throw Some Ds," with a simple, bold declaration: "Weed and syrup is the combination...," he shouted in a manic, inebriated haze. "And the inspiration."
And when Texas hip-hop legend and former UGK member, Pimp C, passed away from overdosing on Drank, Wayne paid tribute with a nearly six-minute love song about abusing promethazine.
But we all know that post-prison, Birdman Junior is on the wagon. And it was only a matter of time before he started opening up about his drug abuse.
Is Weezy Relapsing Before Our Eyes?
Wayne's video confessional opens with the rapper sitting with two stacked styrofoam cups seemingly filled with sizzurp. What? Weezy's talking about everything in past tense, so maybe his very Drank-looking cup is, like, a motivational prop? Something to help him remember what it was like to be a publicly sedated billionaire for three or four years. Regardless of what Tom Waits may tell you, when you quit smoking cigarettes, it doesn't mean "you can have one."
Rapper See, Rapper Do
"I started drinking it because I'm from the South," Wayne tells the camera. He cites UGK and Geto Boys as early influences, and draws a chilling basketball analogy.
"I was young, watching Michael Jordan on Game Six. I was also young and listening to Pimp C and he said, 'We're drinking that Lean.' It made me want to drink that lean."
To Each Their Own
Weezy says he "respected [sizzurp] the day [he] picked it up, because it's a culture." Though Crossfade has never braved the Purp, we do (sort of) understand that there would be some kind of camaraderie or brotherhood among a secret society of people abusing cold medicine that gets you real fucked up.
Weezy, the Trendsetter
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"When I picked it up, ya'll didn't know what it was." It's true, Weezy F. Baby is the 2000s mainstream grand spokesperson for walking around in a pharmaceutical daze.
"Because I Was Sick..."
This brings our confusion full circle. Weezy says he used to get his Drank from the pharmacy, because he was sick. Does he mean, like, with addiction? Or that he was legally prescribed cough syrup for some kind of ailment? And, hey, have we figured out if he's drinking sizzurp in the video?