Another week, another rapper denouncing lean use—sort of.
On Sunday, Wiz Khalifa uploaded a video to his Instagram, with the caption "Lean is lame," prompting countless hip-hop media outlets to run stories proclaiming Wiz as anti-lean, but it appears none of them actually watched the video itself to hear his full commentary on the subject.
"When a lot of people follow one trend or find themselves doing the same thing that everybody else is doing, you don't really get someone who speaks for the other side, so I'ma go ahead and speak for the other side—lean is lame," Wiz said.
Wiz, of course, is right. Lean is not just lame but, in a very short period of time, abusing prescription-strength cough syrup can have a profound effect on one's health. Wiz decided to add a caveat to his proclamation, though.
"Not for the lean sippers, don't get in your feelings," Wiz added. "This is for the people who don't fuck with that shit. Feel empowered. Know, lean is definitely lame."
In review, according to Wiz, lean is lame, unless, you're already a lean sipper.
Clearly, Wiz doesn’t want to offend his long-term sipping peers who were abusing lean before it suddenly became the cool thing to do, but by adding this qualifier to his position, it completely waters down his intention.
I don't want to call Wiz a hypocrite because I believe his intentions are pure, but the end result of his message is confusing. Instead of delivering a powerful PSA, Wiz waffled and delivered a half-baked (literally) stance: If you want to sip lean because you want to sip lean, cool. If you want to do it because you think it’s cool or because other people are doing it, just know it’s lame.
There are plenty of hot-button topics where it's perfectly acceptable to straddle the fence without firmly taking a position on either side—Does Drake have a classic album in his discography? Should JAY-Z have stayed retired after The Black Album? Is Jay Electronica the most disappointing MC of all-time?—but lean abuse isn't one of them. It could put you in the hospital, it could ruin your career, and it could kill you.
Lean is lame, period. Full stop. No asterisks necessary.