2 Chainz used to call himself the Codeine Cowboy, but now those days are apparently over because the star rapper says he's quit drinking lean.
"I don't even drank no more," the "No Lie" MC told MTV News last Wednesday, in the midst of explaining the lyrics from his new EP Freebase, which dropped online on Monday.
The revelation came in the form of a tangent. First, Chainz was trying to explain to us how the rap flow associated with popular rap trio Migos comes from Memphis pioneers Three Six Mafia. While saluting the new generation of rappers and noting all of the drugs that they glorify, like Molly and Xanax, Deuce told us about the change he made with his own habits.
"I haven't drunk since New Year's Eve; that was my New Year's resolution," he said. "You know that I have stomach issues and everything, so for me, I'm trying to get off of all medicine dealing with my stomach. I take medicine every day that people don't know about. So for me, it wasn't just about me enjoying or — basically if you do too much of anything, it's abusive."
Lean, syrup or drank are all just slang terms for the addictive mixture of a soft drink, plus promethazine and codeine-based cough syrup. Rappers like Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky and Mac Miller have all been linked to the recreational drug and 2 Chainz himself has got into quite a bit of legal trouble because of syrup.
In June 2012, Tity Boi was arrested at LAX when airport officers found marijuana and a bottle of promethazine with codeine in his bag. According to TMZ, the rapper pled guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge. He will be placed on a drug diversion program for 18 months, Complex.com reported.
Chainz said that his past use of the drug stems from preexisting medical issues. The syrup, he said, helped ease his pain. "So for me, I wasn't trying to abuse it, it was just about me maintaining. When you have ulcers and acid reflux and you fly as much as I do, you get nausea," he said, noting that he was receiving prescriptions from his doctor.
On "They Know," another track from Freebase, Chainz raps about drinking codeine "for morning sickness."
"Even with the pill, the promethazine pill, they have all that stuff," he said. "I know it's getting abused. I just want people to understand that these are real medications that deal with real illnesses.
"I have a very strong mind," he continued, equating the addiction to drugs with an addiction to hustling in the streets. "It's the same thing with drugs and anything else: If you're able to go cold turkey, wake up and say, 'I don't really need this,' then that just shows a lot about who you are as a person."