Lean has become a ubiquitous topic in rap. And not just artists rapping about the drink -- a mixture of promethazine/codeine cough syrup and soda -- which does happen often, but also its general penetration into hip-hop culture. It's become a popular indulgence for both listeners and some MCs, but Lil' Keke is warning that the trend needs to come to an end.
“It’s the saddest thing in the game right now,” the Houston native recently told BET. “Because I’m really from it. And I really know about it. And I really know what it do, where it come from. And what they’re glorifying, it’s sad because they don’t know the ramifications that’s gonna come with it. Where we from, people are dying."
The drink originated in the veteran rapper's home city, and has been popular for years -- long before it seeped into hip-hop and society's larger consciousness. Another Texas native, UGK's Pimp C, with whom Keke collaborated, died in 2007 following an overdose on the drug.
"It’s really out of control," he said. "Because where we from, I know people that got 20, 30 years behind it. I know people that dying behind it. People get killed. It’s very serious. And away from our home, it’s a mockery.”
“And this is what I want to say to end it: the worst is yet to come. 'Cause see we’ve already seen the worst. That y’all haven’t seen. That ain’t documented about it. Deaths, the deaths y’all seeing about it that’s not really bothering us because it’s not really from drinking. We’ve seen the real deaths. The real people losing their lives.”