Ahh, codeine cough syrup. It started off innocently enough, as a remedy for a sore throat. However, if it can get you high, people will use it to get high. And, if it gets you high, someone will at some point write a song about it.
However, this classy beverage is nothing new in the music world. Songs about sizzurp began cropping up in the southern hip-hop scene about fifteen years ago, when Houston's DJ Screw drank a bunch of cough syrup, slowed his music way down, and created the "chopped and screwed" mixing technique in tribute to the effects of his drug of choice. Memphis trio Three 6 Mafia and Houstoners UGK glamorized the drank with dirty, gritty, slow-paced jams that mimicked the sluggish effects of codeine syrup on the user.
Lest the reader think that we are promoting syrup slurping as a viable option for recreational fun, we will state for the record that sippin' on sizzurp can kill you. Don't try this at home, kids. With that, we happily present 10 of our favorite songs that glorify the dubious act of drinking cough syrup. Pour yourself an ice-cold glass of something that isn't codeine cough syrup and hit the jump for the list that contains possibly the most NSFW lyrics in any of our posts (don't say we didn't warn you).
Three 6 Mafia featuring UGK, "Sippin' on Some Syrup"
The song that started it all. This 2000 jam introduced the terms "sizzurp" and "purple drank" (denoting the color of cough syrup mixed with soda) into the national lexicon. They get pretty specific, detailing their preference for extended-release Tussin Ex.
Gangsta Boo featuring Bun B, "Sippin' and Spinnin"
With the likes of Nicki Minaj dominating the charts nowadays, it's easy to forget that girl rappers can, and have been, just as dirty, raw, and offensive as the boys; Lady Boo certainly holds her own on this nasty track.
Pimp C featuring Mike Jones and Bun B, "Pourin' Up"
Three Houston guys get together, speed up the pace, and lay this shit out. Released a year before Pimp C died from a codeine overdose. Did we mention that it'll kill ya?
Chamillionaire featuring Paul Wall, "2 MPH"
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Cough syrup has many nicknames, one of which is "lean," as illustrated by Chamillionaire and Paul Wall on this tune. The Houston boys show culinary creativity by suggesting that one put Jolly Ranchers into one's lean to enhance the flavor and look of this refined and elegant beverage (see also: Three 6's "Rainbow Colors").
Lil Wayne, "Me and My Drink"
This track pours slow and thick, like the syrup itself. Weezy's painful rasp drawls out into a fuzzy, almost-unintelligible garble as he describes what happens when you're up in the studio sipping from that magical Styrofoam cup.
Papoose, "Talkin' Sizzurp"
Best known as Remy Ma's husband (they wed while she was in prison for a 2007 shooting).
Far East Movement, "Like a G6"
If you hadn't heard of Three 6 Mafia's affinity for sizzurp before, you've heard it now, as this song is played ad nauseam on pop radio stations everywhere.
Black Lips, "I Saw A Ghost (Lean)"
The only rock song on this list was created by Atlanta throwback rockers Black Lips, who extol the listener to "come on and give me a sip."
Lil Boosie, "Sippin All Night"
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Boosie brags about drinking "a gallon of syrup," which may be one reason why his judgment has been epically impaired of late.
Gucci Mane, "Wasted"
Gucci is into all sorts of mind-altering substances; purple drank is simply one on a long list that he ticks off on this infectious track.