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Lord Infamous; Live By The Sizzurp Die By The Sizzurp How Corporate Hip Hop Is Killing Young Black Men.

December 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( When I heard about the tragic death of Lord Infamous (aka Ricky Dunigan) from the group Three 6 Mafia, I was hurt, but not surprised.  We’re used to rappers dying before the age of 50, since we’ve come to embrace a culture that only serves to deplete our mental and physical health at a very early age.

I don’t pretend to know how Lord Infamous died, and I certainly am not interested in stomping on the brother’s grave.  But as a man who seeks to protect and empower young black men, I cannot remain silent as corporate America promotes a lifestyle that is leading them to a premature death.

Three 6 Mafia, among other things, was responsible for the popular song, “Sipping on some Syrup” (Sizzurp), which served to heavily promote “Purple drank” deep in the south.  The drink is a mix of codeine and Sprite, which dulls the senses and causes numerous side effects.  Some of the side effects include slowed heartbeat, shallow breathing, blurredLord-Infamous-2013 vision, agitation and hallucinations.

I dare say that this is the drink that put the rappers Lil Wayne and Rick Ross in the hospital multiple times for seizures over the past two years.  It is also the drink that killed the popular rapper Pimp C (aka Chad Butler) at the age of 34.   If Purple Drank were an organization, then corporate hip-hop artists would be the perfect spokesmen: They rap about the drink as if they own stock in the company, and it’s strange to see anybody spending this much time bragging about being high and drunk all the time.

Countless other artists have had their potential murdered by drug abuse, including the rapper Chris Kelly from the group Kriss Kross, DMX (an extraordinary rapper whose life has become a complete mess) and others.  Also, for every artist who dies or shows public symptoms of a drug problem, there are numerous others who suffer in silence, living on the brink of fatality.

Standing with the artists are the hundreds of thousands of young people who are on the receiving end of a barrage of marketing messages that encourage them to spend their lives in a liquor bottle or dope spot.   “Purple Drank” is now very popular in the south, mainly because of messages  being delivered to young people via death merchants like Clear Channel and record labels who profit from selling weaponized psychological genocide to young black men.  When a black boy is born, there are two things built for him:  A jail cell and a casket – That’s how prisons and record labels feed off of one another and get so rich in the process.

Anyone who thinks that this is just harmless music is naïve and obviously hasn’t studied marketing.  The reason that corporations pay artists millions of dollars to wear their sneakers and clothing is because they know that whatever the artist does, millions of young people are going to emulate that act.   Even the rapper 2 Chainz (the college-educated, 36-year old man who dresses like a teenager and deliberately lowers his IQ) stated clearly that hip-hop artists are better at selling sneakers than the athletes who actually work in them.

Also understanding the marketing power of hip-hop artists, young rapper Chief Keef recently boasted that his next album is going to raise the murder rate in Chicago.  These artists, some of whom are a lot like highly-intelligent hookers, know their power to influence the minds of young people.  The problem is that they have been taught to worship the dollar bill so much that they are willing to terrorize their own people in order to buy a nicer car.

When I had a debate at Brown University with my friend Michael Eric Dyson, one of the points that Michael brought up is the importance of preserving artistic freedom of expression.  I agree, since I also enjoy expressing myself in a free and unfiltered manner.  But the problem is that many of the rappers who are owned by corporate America have almost no artistic freedom, since they are compensated for sharing a message that ultimately serves to destroy and enslave the black community.

Independent rappers like Ice Cube and Immortal Technique also engage in free and sometimes offensive expression, but it usually comes from a place that is relatively unpolluted by an oppressive obsession with no-holds-barred capitalism.  You notice the difference in their music, which seeks to encourage black men to be stronger rather than weaker.   If you’re reminding brothers to get high and drunk and kill each other, you are pushing them to become worthless, lazy, self-destructive addicts who are ultimately no good for their community.  These are not the kinds of black men on which you can build a nation.

As Immortal Technique expressed in an eloquent manner during a recent interview, most corporate-owned artists are incentivized to be 100% gangster, 100% of the time, which robs them of the ability to share a well-rounded human experience.   Their participation in this embarrassing minstrel show is being called out by people around the country, including a persistent group of parents in Chicago who have been protesting local Clear Channel stations.

This minstrel show is what led us to kill Lil Wayne’s endorsement deal with Mountain Dew after he chose to disrespect the legacy of Emmett Till.  I don’t regret our actions one bit, since I love my kids a lot more than I love a hot beat.  The point is that our beloved hip-hop artists cannot be allowed to be used as corporate tools of oppression, and if we care about our children, we will take out all of those who seek to do harm to those we care about.  That’s what independent black people do, which means we might also have to take out a few slaves in the process.

The death march of hip-hop will come to a stop when all of us demand it.  Until that time, we are going to be inundated with one tragedy after another, and the most repetitive letters we’re going to hear in our community are going to be “D.E.A” and “R.I.P.”

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins 

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  For more information, please visit



11 Responses to “Lord Infamous; Live By The Sizzurp Die By The Sizzurp How Corporate Hip Hop Is Killing Young Black Men.”
  1. toomanygrandkids says:

    @Alan Davis….I bet you spelled half of those rappers names wrong. Unless it is the way they spell their ‘stage’ name. Figures. I stand corrected: You and rappers need to pick up a book and go back to school quickly before you all become illiterate senior citizens.

  2. Tim says:

    Stupid fucking article. I don’t want to hear gangsta rap that doesn’t involve sex, money, and crime. Even if this dude wasn’t rapping, he still would have been sippin lean his whole life. Don’t act like the rap industry is somehow brainwashing us and killing its own members.

  3. Someone pointed out the lack of leadership. This is so correct. A true leader would show our youth how to make money without degrading ourselves, a true leader would show our youth how to become an owner rather than an endorser, a true leader would show our youth how to respect and protect his family, friends, and community.

    I’m not in the Nation of Islam, but I respect the true leadership in how they deal with these issues. I don’t agree with everything they do, but they have a strong record in turning our people from the worst to the best. The bottom line, we need more real leaders who are true in their actions, not just their words.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  4. Alan davis says:

    You see ,you’re the one with the problem. I can speak, type whatever and however I desire. By you pointing out a stranger that’s just writing a “comment” of a cellphone makes no sense at all, if you would’ve read the paragraph thoroughly you’ll ignore the vocabulary issue and focus on the subject matter. Which is that I blame all the imposters, all the out of town people for taking such a unique style that the south of Houston had for decades,we are the true meaning of trendstetters. Creating the famous sound of chopped and screw , custom grillz with diamonds , starched jeans and white tees , polo torsos, nikes on the feet,candy paint on a old school cadillac ,84s swangers with vouge tires , fifth wheel hanging, pop trunk, neon lights,bass banging,on highway 59 swanging down to Alief,sipping a pint of drank, mixing it with sprite and jollyranchers in a styrofoam cup jamming NOTHING but Texas music. DJ SCREW S.U.C,UGK,ABN, PIMPC BUNB ZRO TRAE THE TRUTH JAYTON LIL BOSS FAT PAT BIG HAWK BIG STEVE BIG MELLO BIG MOE BIG POKEY LIL KEKE LIL FLIP LIL O CNOTE WILL LEAN MR.32 PAUL WALL CHAMILLIONAIRE SCARFACE GETO BOYS SAUVEHOUSE DOPEHOUSE SPM LUCKY LUCIANO LOW G RASHEED SLIM THUG JDAWG DEVIN THE DUDE AND SO MANY MORE THAT I GOT TIRED OF TYPING. As you can tell Texas has and been putting out there own style for years! But since everybody out of texas realized how true and loyal houston community really is and compared to there city…had no choice but to appriciate our culture. Now tell me if I’m lying but almost very rapper is influence by houston turning it mainstream now the whole world think it’s hip hop,when it never was! w

  5. get real says:

    Yeah right that’s what’s killing the youth, proper English, who would have thought????

  6. toomanygrandkids says:

    @Alan Davis…you and males like you are a prime example of young black males who don’t, won’t, and refuse to speak and write proper English. I’m not talking ‘Grey Poupon’ English but standard English. Go back to school, pick up a dictionary, expand your vocabulary to include meaningful words so that you don’t keep yourself in the sterotypical mold of an uneducated and ignorant black male.

  7. qua says:

    2 chains and lil wayne are sellouts they worship the devil and dont care about black America. As blacks we consume negative images by the pound and if a person is not like that we consider them as not being real or down. We have to take a step back and want better for our brothers and sisters. Money is not every thing once those rappers die they money goes right back to the white man. Its just black face on a deeper level. Ur still just a slave that entertains and at the same time perpetuate negative stereo type and set blacks back 100 years.

  8. Alan davis says:

    THIS SHIT IS STUPID, I BLAME ALLL YOU RAP NIGGAS! TAKING OUR HOUSTON STYLE ,TURNING IT MAINSTREAM NOW THE WORLD THINK IT’S HIP HOP WHEN IT NEVER WAS, IT’S COUNTRY RAP TUNES DOWN HERE, GOT TIRED OF YOUR WAYS SO Y’ALL HAD TO STEAL OUR STYLE , LOOK AT ALL THESE RAP NIGGAS HOLDN CUPS TALKN SCREW RIDN CANDY PAINT 84s poking , that’s a every day thing for the average Houstonian , talking bout they been trill?? nigga please , you see is a lifestyle down here, purple drank use to be a personal drug now since everybody wanna be like they form the H down south , FUCKED UP THE GAME!!! Rip DJ SCREW PIMP C BG MOE S.U.C 4 life screwed up till the casket drops

  9. toomanygrandkids says:

    Where are the black so-called leaders? Why haven’t they organized rallies and protests against gangsta rap? If young black males are willing to do whatever it takes to make millions then you really can’t blame the record labels for pocketing just as much money. Since there isn’t an abundance of black-owned companies who would hire black people, young black males really don’t have much choice as to how they make a decent living. So for a young male, rapping about whatever is the ticket to a better lifestyle. Many of them grew up fatherless and in some cases, motherless. But soon as they become somewhat rich, here comes mommy, daddy, and a bunch of other relatives with their hand out. You wanna know why? Because having, making, and getting money is more important than black unity, providing a clean and safe environment, and knowing the true definition of being a black man.

  10. Mitchell hill says:

    was just watching a vid of lil wayne spaced out on lean on youtube and decided to search it and found this article, im only 19 and i couldnt agree more on how *pardon my language* fucked up the hip hop scene is these.

  11. Gina Oliveri says:

    That was a great article. I understand this clearly, but how do you get younger people who are already desensitized to the tragedies taking place so predictably. It’s like the lobster, I believe, who is put in comfortable water, which eventually reaches a temperature that cooks them to their death.

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