Lil Wayne insists he never started using a codeine-based drink to be “cool”.
The rapper’s use of a prescription cough syrup mainly made up of promethazine and codeine has been reported for years. He has regularly been seen carrying a white cup which contains the beverage, often mixed with another drink such as lemonade.
Lil Wayne has opened up about his use of the syrup – referred to in slang terms as sizzurp, lean and drank – in a documentary shot by one of his friends.
The hip-hop star admits he started using it after hearing rappers talk about it in their songs. One of them was Pimp C, who died of an accidental overdose of syrup combined with sleep apnea in 2007.
“I’m human just like I was young and I watched Michael Jordan… and it made me want to go to the top of my driveway and shoot. Well I was also young and I was listening to Pimp C and they was saying, ‘We drinking that lean,’ it made me want to drink that lean. So, I picked the cup up,” he says in footage posted on TMZ.
“When I picked it up… y’all didn’t know what it was. Y’all just thought he walking around with two white cups. I’m quite sure the stereotypical motherf**kers were like, ‘Oh, it’s some liquor or something in there.’ But you didn’t know what the hell it was. So obviously I wasn’t doing it to be cool… I can’t blame the kids, I blame the adults. It’s OK for a kid to look at somebody and see something and want to be just like him. It’s only right, it’s only human nature.”
At the end of the excerpt the 29-year-old again insists he didn’t start using the medication to be “cool”, revealing he first took it when he was “sick”.
According to TMZ, he also admits he began using the drink more and more as his fame soared. He found being in the public eye hard and self-medicating was his way of coping.
He then insists he no longer uses the concoction, having quit last year.
The prescription drink is usually used to treat people with bad colds or pneumonia.
Following the death of Pimp C, Lil Wayne admitted many people had expressed concern over his use of syrup. In 2008, he insisted stopping his habit wouldn’t be as easy as some suggested.
“I'm going through that same sh*t with my friends, with my mom. Everybody wants me to stop all this and all that. It ain't that easy,” he said.
"Do your history, do your research. It ain't that easy — feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that sh*t. You gotta learn how to stop, you gotta go through detox. You gotta do all kinds of stuff.”
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