I needed a bottle after realizing this really had been conceived, written, published, and paid for:
Yes, Bun B is still going strong. And yes, Pimp C, an illustrious rapper and producer and provocateur, is still gone.
Earlier last week the Los Angeles County coroner announced the cause of death: promethazine and codeine, key ingredients in prescription cough syrup, which may have combined with his sleep apnea to stop his breathing. This was especially grim news because it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Prescription cough syrup — sometimes diluted, and often called “drank” or “lean” or “purp” — is the recreational drug most closely associated with Houston’s fertile hip-hop scene.
[…] It would be disingenuous — maybe even unfair — to pretend that Pimp C had no connection to syrup. (After all, his own rhymes were thrillingly unexpurgated.) One of UGK’s biggest hits was “Sippin’ on Some Syrup,” a brilliant and hallucinatory collaboration with Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat. One of his most recent solo singles was “Pourin’ Up,” from 2006. In a track from more than a decade ago, Pimp C claimed he was forsaking syrup in favor of Dom Pérignon. But last year, on UGK’s triumphant double-album, “Underground Kingz” (Jive/Zomba), Pimp C still mentioned “sippin’ drank.” — Kelefa Sanneh, NYT
It’s a solemn occasion when somebody dies, and I do recognize that getting high often…okay, sometimes…makes for inspirational brilliance. But I am the only person hesitant about joining in the celebration of a dude who organized his life — and music — around getting wasted off cough syrup? Is this really what it’s come to? Illustrious? Triumphant? Can any song about drinking a bottle of Tussin be triumphant? Is the best way to describe such a song thrillingly unexpurgated? Having to have this conversation is itself a hallucinatory experience. An upside is that the People of the Future will be able to leaf through the Paper of Record, come across this gem, and realize just what we were all up against.
UPDATE: Rod Dreher goes the extra mile, unearthing the lyrics and posting them (below the fold). You will be delighted and surprised to learn that the Times’ intrepid correspondent is gushing over a song about, inter alia, gang-banging a girl on ecstasy and syrup. Dirty music is nothing new, but the level of self-parody reached by the Times is, even for the Times. Which is saying something, and for which, if for nothing else, they should be ashamed.