The Drink Champs podcast is quickly becoming one of my go-to sources for great hip-hop stories, and this week they delivered again with an amazing story from Curren$y about the time he almost died accidentally drinking some of Lil Wayne's lean.
Spitta, mistaking a bottle of colored beverage on Wayne's tour bus for actual Hawaiian Punch, downed an entire bottle of lean after a basketball game and then woke up 18-hours later in a completely different city.
It's a funny story now that could have easily turned tragic and ended Curren$y's career before it even took off, but what struck me more about this story is the casual extent of Wayne's drug use. What almost killed Spitta, Wayne was storing by the six-pack. It reminded me of an old video of 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne discussing their respective lean preferences in 2010, when even 2 Chainz says that Wayne's lean was so strong he couldn't even sip it without getting sick.
In an age where Future and The Weeknd treat hardcore drug use like a luxury car they can hop in and out of, watching these videos really made me realize once again just how serious Wayne's drug addiction was (is?) and how close we truly might have come to losing him in the "I Feel Like Dying" era. His lean tolerance was so strong even other regular users like Chainz couldn't keep up with him, and while he may be doing cute Super Bowl commercials now, he once seemed hell bent on dying like a rockstar.
"My friends, my mom. Everybody wants me to stop all this. It ain’t that easy — feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that shit. You gotta learn how to stop, you gotta go through detox. I feel like everything I do is successful and productive. It’s hard to sit and tell a nigga, ’stop.’ Fuck, how can we tell this nigga to stop when every fucking thing he do is successful?
Let me do me. Everybody’s got their thing. Don’t compare me to no one who has passed, and why they passed. I can walk out this bitchh right now and get hit by a bus. Don’t judge me. It’s me against the world — that’s how I feel.” - MTV Interview
While in the 2010 video above Wayne is talking about his newfound sobriety, we know for a fact that he relapsed at least several more times after that, and it really puts the multiple seizures he suffered around 2013 in proper perspective. At the same time we're hearing rumors of him drinking lean again, at the same time Prince died suddenly from apparent drug use, at the same time we're listening to Royce da 5'9" recount the depths of his addiction, it's worth thinking again about how much longer we might have Lil Wayne around.
There's got to be 100 more stories out there like Curren$y's revealing the true extent of Wayne's prolific drug use, hopefully we'll be able to hear them and laugh without the pallor of tragedy hanging over them for years to come.
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.