We’ve been hearing about it for years in top-ranking rap and hip-hop tracks. It’s become a staple in the underground party scene- sometimes with deadly consequences. The cheap but powerful cough syrup-based drink known as “lean” was the suspected cause behind rapper Lil Wayne’s health problems in 2016, including multiple seizures. It’s no surprise, then, that he and Chris Brown have been named in a federal investigation surrounding a supposed celebrity drug and lead dealer, Harrison Garcia.
Self-nicknamed the “CEO of Sizzurp”, Garcia’s Instagram account tells a story of extravagance and suspiciously gained wealth. His online presence seemed to brag about a lifestyle supported by drug trafficking to affluent customers. His Instagram includes images of him and stacks of money, jewelry, and a screenshot showing an alleged transaction from Chris Brown totally $15,000. Following his arrest for drug trafficking, text messages also allegedly showed Garcia bragging about delivering drugs to Lil Wayne.
Both musical artists have garnered public attention and ridicule regarding their drug use, including criticism for promoting use of “lean”, “sizzurp”, and other such street concoctions in their music. As mentioned previously, fans of Lil Wayne were quite concerned about his deteriorating health throughout 2016 after he suffered a string of seizures including one on a private plane. While no specific cause has ever been released, suspicion about the connection to his drug abuse and excessive lean drinking continues to circulate.
More recently, colleagues of singer and rapper Chris Brown have expressed concern about his alleged substance abuse habits following an apparent mental health spiral. His ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran filed a restraining order against him after he posted several concerning posts and videos to his Instagram account making alarmingly possessive statements that felt threatened by. Brown has a hard partying reputation on top of his past of domestic abuse toward singer Rihanna. Following that incident, Brown cited it as one of his greatest regrets, saying he was in a bad mental space.
“I felt like a f—king monster. I was thinking about suicide and everything else. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t eating. I was just getting high.”
While the two celebrities have been named in the federal investigation, Garcia’s defense claims his online persona is all a show- an attempt for the accused lean and drug dealer to impress others. They claim he was “talking big and trying to be something he’s not.” Their attempts to use this as a defense has been less than successful. Their only witness’ testimony flopped when she accidentally admitted to getting drugs from Garcia then immediately invoked her right to remain silent.
Harrison Garcia’s posts including excessive weaponry suggests he felt a need for self-defense due to drug trafficking activity. The prosecution claims his defense team is attempting to make the case about something it’s not: Instagram and online representations, rather than illegal drug trafficking. Neither Chris Brown or Lil Wayne have put forth a statement regarding the situation.