Thursday, December 11, 2008

Purple Stuff: The Anti-Energy Drank.

During the Democratic Presidential debates a few years ago, a moderator asked candidate Rebb'n Al Sharpton why he didn't see more American flags flying in black communities after 9/11, while they were ubiquitous in white neighborhoods. Al replied "there's a lot of other stuff you won't see in black neighborhoods that you see in white neighborhoods. Like grocery stores." It was a lighthearted moment that tactfully dismissed a very stoopid and insulting question, but it did bring to mind the fact that there's some stuff you just don't see in black communities. And vice versa.

White folks might be surprised (shocked?) to know there's a whole subculture of snack and food items sold exclusively in Da' Hood. Malt liquor. Loose Menthol cigarettes. Gangantuan dill pickles. Those tiny vases with the rose in the middle.[1] Scrawburry and Lemon Lime Swisher Sweets. Rap Snacks. And of course, who could forget ignant "hood energy dranks" like Pimp Juice and Crunk.

Since I prefer black coffee for my morning caffeine rush, I'm not an energy drink dude and I don't even mess with more mainstream stuff like Red Bull and AMP. Thus, why in the ham sammich someone would pay for an energy drink that mimics a popular street drug concoction that actually makes you sleepy is beyond my comprehension of Negro Nonsense.
First came Red Bull and Monster Energy, giving a high-octane boost to late-night parties and study sessions. Now the anti-energy drinks have arrived, carbonated beverages that promise to help you "slow your roll" or "lean with it." But with their hip-hop-inspired advertising campaigns, Drank and Purple Stuff are generating a buzz that is anything but chill.

"Sippin' syrup" is believed to have originated in Houston and it remains a common topic for Southern rappers. "Drank," "purple stuff" and "lean" are street terms for the illicit mixture.

Drank and Purple Stuff contain melatonin, rose hips and valerian root, all of which have a calming effect, said Amitava Dasgupta, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the UT Medical School in Houston. He said valerian can ease anxiety and help people sleep.

Drank's creator, Peter Bianchi of Houston, defended his product and denied targeting consumers in specific neighborhoods. Drank's Web site says those using the product include rappers, professionals, students and insomniacs. A MySpace page dedicated to the beverage shows smiling black youth brandishing the bottle and plays a tune by rapper Lil Wayne: Me and My Drank (which refers to the real thing).

At three gasoline stations in mostly black or Hispanic neighborhoods — in Missouri City, Galena Park and Third Ward — clerks reported the drinks were popular among youth coming from clubs on the weekends. At the Spec's in downtown Houston, a representative said the drink has been "selling well."

But at two stations in predominantly Anglo neighborhoods — one in far west Houston and the other in Katy's Cinco Ranch — clerks had not heard of Drank or Purple Stuff.
For those of you that need some audiovisual context, Here's Big Moe's famous ode to "dat' drank", the aptly named "Purple Stuff". How appropriate, considering the fact that Big Moe (who tragically died, allegedly of a syrup overdose last year) looks a lot like Barney.

And here's Three 6 Mafia's "Sippin' On Some Sizzurp".

There's also a million videos on Youtube showing you how to best prepare your own batch of drank for your next family gathering. Sorry, this is a PG-13 site. You'll need to get up on the sizzurp recipe game on your own time.

Drank, lean, sizzurp, barre, purple stuff, whatever you wanna call it is more or less a Southern phenomenon. Like most of ya'll, I too tried some stoopid sh*t during my college days, but why the hell you'd wanna mix Robitussin and Sprite is beyond me. That a drink manufacturer would willingly package a product mimicking this concoction and market it to inner city teens is disgusting, but hardly anything new.

Tell em' DP...

Even Rebb'n Al knew that much. Too bad Big Moe didn't.

Rest in peace.

Question: Do you think Drank and Purple Stuff anti-energy drinks send a harmful message to teens? Why are some harmful products allowed to be marketed only in black communities? Have you ever sipped some of dat' purple stuff?

Anti-energy drink fuels concerns over marketing [Houston Chronicle]

[1] Seriously, why is it okay to sell poorly disguised drug paraphernalia in the hood? I never see this sorta stuff in the burbs.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.