Written By Jeff Williams |@jeff.dreams
Lean is often made by mixing prescription-strength codeine cough syrup with soda. The drink has been popularized in hip hop culture over the past few decades. It’s one of the guilty pleasures of the culture, with famous rappers drinking and featuring it in their music lyrics and videos. Now the trend, as most, has found its way into the mainstream where you see Vice recently even covering it in a few of their episodes as the codeine consumption culture spreads from the United States to places far away such as Zimbabwe.
Though it has been arguably as prevalent as marijuana, unlike Mary Jane, it has been responsible for many casualties within the rap game such as Pimp C to ASAP YAMS. It was also indicated as the source for Lil Wayne’s history of seizures.
Yet, Future leveraged the lean culture to create a masterpiece, Dirty Sprite 2 which released back in July 2015.
Now, 3 and a half years later, Future is codeine free and transitioning into a new phase of his life and music.
In a recent interview with Rap Genius, he suggested he feared that his fan base would change their perception of his music because he dropped this addiction:
“I didn’t wanna tell people I stopped drinking lean, because I was afraid they’d think the music changed.”
This resonated with me as it spoke to the weird, nuanced relationships society has with our favorite musicians. Because we grow close to musicians because of the way their music makes us feel, I find that we tend to keep them in the box or the stage of their life they were in when they created that music we were drawn to.
And in Future’s case, if that was prevalent, for the fans that are concerned about his music changing, I wonder if they are prioritizing their feelings over the artist’s well being. Is that we were are as a collective?
In my opinion, I am happy that Future, who in many cases is a living legend and trendsetter from fashion to rap style, has decided to make a drastic change in his lifestyle, and I am rooting for the success of his new album THE WIZRD. Early listens suggest, Future isn’t falling off.
And I hope, in true Future fashion, he’s able to inspire other artists to make positive lifestyle changes, too.