Sizzurp, purple drink, lean—the combination of prescription-grade promethazine-codeine cough syrup and, usually, Sprite used to be most closely associated with Houston's rap scene. But in 2012, as regional sounds become divorced from their birthplaces, the drugs have travelled too. Thus, the substance that claimed the life of UGK's Pimp C is now championed far from the place where DJ Screw first chopped and screwed, in places like Toronto and New York City.

A$AP Rocky brags about his “purple swag.” Drake blogs photos of white cups. Lil Wayne's predilection for drinks shaded in Easter colors is documented on too many of his songs to single out just one. The regional transcending the city limits, it's a sign of the times, just like all these rappers sipping lean.