ON THAT LEAN, THAT SYRUP, NAMTLKNBOUT???

My first year working in Shanghai, in a high school for rich kids, I asked one of my friendlier colleagues, “how was your weekend?”

“Not good, my grandma had to go to the hospital and get an IV.”

To me, and my knowledge/experience with IVs, this sounded grim. Grandma might die.

But then she told me that grandma just had diarrhea. Whew, what a relief! Turns out Chinese doctors often prescribe IV treatment for ailments like…everything. I also learned how open people are about discussing diarreha by its name instead of with euphemisms like “stomach problems.”

From colds to diarrhea, an IV injection of..water, rehydration salts, whatever, can cure it. I’ve seen florescent-lit rooms of people just lounging around watching sports on TV with IV tubes hanging upright from their arms. It’s quite surreal.

Last year, a popular photo on the Chinese web showed a whole classroom of students taking IVs while studying for the 高考 (gaokao/China’s version of the SAT, but really way more determinative of the young test-taker’s future, social standing, etc ). Tubes were just dangling from the ceiling like vines. Drip.

Evian Christ – Drip

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I avoid needles whenever possible so in this time of 感冒 (ganmao/common cold), I’m sipping syrup. Doctors here are reluctant to prescribe something tame-by-American-standards like Tylenol3 for broken bones, so i’m not talkinbout dat promethazine and codeine…i’m talkinbout dat medicine grass. Like, bitter grass from the field. It’s quite nice.

Thinking about making a grass syrup and wolfberry milkshake, for all those unfortunate enough to meet the vicious 感冒/ganmao.

In America, when people talk about “syrup,” “purple drank,” or “lean,” they’re talking about prescription cough syrup with codeine and promethazine that produces  sllllloooowwwwweeeed down and hallucinogenic effects when ingested at a recreational dosage.

Rappers from the southern United States, specifically Houston, Texas and later Memphis, Tennessee popularized syrup in the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s not cheap – a pint could cost a few hundred dollars ($US) on the street. The traditional recipe is to mix it with Sprite and ice in a Styrofoam cup.

Unfortunately, that slowwweeed down state also causes serious heart problems. That’s why the syrup scene’s godfather DJ Screw, who invented the whole Chopped and Screwed sound of DJing records slowed wayyyy the fuck down and cut up, often with local MCs rhyming over the top, died at the age of 39 after four previous heart attacks. RIP.

To give you an idea of that syrup without actually going through the trouble of tracking some down and running into potential cardiovascular issues, just peep these tracks.

DJ Screw/Big Moe -  Sippin Codeine

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DJ Screw/Botany Boys – Smokin’ And Leanin’

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Three 6 Mafia – Sippin On Some Syrup

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Three 6 Mafia – Rainbow Colors (ft. Lil Flip)

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and..this concept reimagined and translated into something like fireworks in space, by the absolutely next-level young UK producer Rustie.

Rustie – Surph

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As for the OTHER syrup… dat grass goo, you’ll have to wait for that wolfberry crossover milkshake.

 

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