Glorified and illegally enjoyed by various artists in the music industry, Lean (promethazine/codeine cough syrup and soda) is continuing to have a deadly impact throughout hip hop culture. Houston legend Lil Keke recently spoke out against the glorification of the prescription drug during an exclusive sit down with BET.com.
"It's the saddest thing in the game right now," says the veteran rapper. "They've made it super popular but the ramifications and what's going on behind it is crazy. It's really out of control."
Promoted all over social media and rapped about on songs like Kirko Bangz's 2012 hit single "Drank in My Cup," the popularity of the drink, also known as Sizzurp, is at an all time high despite being linked to the sudden deaths of DJ Screw in 2000 and UGK founding member Pimp C in 2007. In addition to the obvious health risks that come with abusing the prescription medicine, the "Worry About You" rapper also shed light on the legal troubles that come with being in possession of the controlled substance.
"I know people who've gotten [sentenced] twenty to thirty years behind it," Keke explained. "I know people who've died behind it, people have gotten killed...it's very serious."
Other artists have also chimed in and spoke out publicly about the pitfalls of lean. Detroit rapper Danny Brown discussed his brief addiction to the popular drug during a recent interview with New York's Power 105.1 FM's The Breakfast Club.
"I had to [stop] though, that was the worst for me," Brown revealed. "It was was affecting my work and I was gaining weight."
In light of the increasing abuse of lean, pharmaceutical company Activas has taken the drastic measure of halting the production of promethazine/codeine cough syrup. Pulling the drug off the shelves is the first serious step in combating the rising popularity of lean.
Watch the clip below for more from Lil Keke.
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(Photo: Jay West/WireImage)