The active ingredient of purple drank is codeine, an opiate medication contained in prescription strength cough syrups due to its antitussive properties. Some prescription cough syrups also contain anti-histamine medications, such as promethazine, which have a mild sedative effect. When taken in large quantities, both medications can lead to sedation and altered levels of consciousness.
Houston producer DJ Screw first popularized the concoction, which is widely attributed as a source of inspiration for the "chopped & screwed" style of hip hop music. Originally, the active ingredient of "Syrup" was cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine. The concoction first gained popularity in the underground Houston, Texas rap scene and later spread to other southern states.
"drank up in ma cup, mayne hold up"
"purple in ma soda"
"purple tonic got me leanin"