With Easter right around the corner, ‘tis the season for pink sprite. And there’s never a bad time for a grill.
National Geographic has officially categorized Houston’s own Paul Wall as a historic matter, and they’ve put together a brief history of the accessory that keeps our mouths “looking something like a disco ball.”
The People’s Champ may not have invented the grill, but his respect for the bling reigns supreme to this day, as evidenced by his heartfelt lyrics from Nelly’s early 2000s hit, “Grillz:”
Open up my mouth and you see more carrots than a salad/
My teeth are mind blowing giving everybody chills/
Call me George Foreman cause I’m selling everybody grills.
Sidebar: some big names got a writing credit for that song, according to Google Play Music, including Beyoncé, Kelendria Rowland, Michelle Williams and Dewayne Carter, whom you might know better as Lil’ Wayne.
Undoubtedly, it was his drink of choice that brought out all of this creativity: Purple Drank.
It’s basically super strong cough syrup, the combination of promethazine and codeine, commonly referred to by several names like lean, or Sizzurp, has become a cultural symbol in hip-hop, and a report from Bloomberg points to Houston as the epicenter of the drug’s use.
Described as the caviar of drugs, the prescription cough suppressant is the key to understanding chopped and screwed music, as it impairs your functions, slows your movements and can cause you to hallucinate. Usually the drugs are cut with sprite or gin, and you can even throw in a Jolly Rancher to change the color.
But don’t go rushing down to the Fifth Ward quite yet, because a good trip could cause you a lifetime of addiction or health problems. Even Mr. Carter himself has suffered multiple life-threatening seizures because of his dranking.
Furthermore, the street price starts at $750, and major drug manufactures, including Allergen, stopped selling the product three years ago.
Of course, you can still get the goods for a pretty penny, and last year, promethazine codeine syrup was prescribed to nearly 4 million people, earning the pharmaceutical companies about $15 million in profits.
While some of the city’s legacies will always be more dangerous than others, Houston remains infinitely proud of its major influence in hip-hop.