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A Brief History of Sizzurp

December 14, 2012

"Keep a bandana like the Ninja Turtles, I'm like a turtle, when I sip the purple." – Lil' Wayne

Commonly known as the Purple Drank, sizzurp originally came to prominence in the underground hip hop scene in Houston, Texas before being popularized nationwide in rap lyrics. It is widely agreed that Houston’s own DJ Screw ushered “The Lean” into popular consciousness with his “Chopped and Screwed” remixes mimicking the effects of Texas Tea. The slowed tempo, scratching and jump cuts inspired other subgenres including OG Ron C’s “Chopped Up Not Slopped Up” versions of popular cuts and Sufjian Stevens recent “Chopped and Scrooged” renditions of Christmas songs, but they all harken back to the purple or pink-hued nectar with strong sedative and dissociative effects that made Lil’ Tunechi feel like a turtle and was responsible for the deaths of DJ Screw and Pimp C among others in an asphyxiative respiratory depression.

The recipe for properly made sizzurp includes promethazine, codeine, Sprite, Mountain Dew or some other lemon-lime-flavored beverage, liquor occasionally, and a jolly rancher for color. Normally found in prescription-strength cough medicine, the promethazine/codeine combination taken in large enough doses results in altered states of consciousness.

Though the side-effects sizzurp were enjoyed as far back as the 60s, it wasn’t until Three 6 Mafia’s single “Sippin’ on Some Syrup” came out in 2000 that Purple Drank became more widely known.

Throughout its storied history, Purple Drank’s most vocal proponent has been one Dwayne Michael Carter. Lil' Wayne immortalized his muse on several songs including “Throw Some D’s,” “Phone Home,” “Kush,” “Watch My Shoes” and even on guest tracks like Kanye West’s “Barry Bonds” and DJ Khaled’s “We Takin’ Over.” The entirety of his track “Me and My Drank” is a slow jam dedicated to his love affair with the sizzurp. Despite his long-running affinity for the drank, Wayne finally kicked the habit in 2009, explaining to the world in this video why he no longer likes his Sprite Easter pink.

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