Event Title

Codeine References in Rap Music Increase after Codeine Availability Decreases

Poster Number

076

Faculty Mentor

Darren Ritzer, Ph.D

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Location

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Start Date

12-4-2019 2:15 PM

End Date

April 2019

Description

Increased consumption of “purple drank,” a combination of codeine cough syrup and soda, is linked to more frequent listening to rap music. In 2014, combined promethazine/codeine was pulled from the over-the-counter market. We examined how rap lyrics reflected this change in codeine availability. We focused on the time periods 2011-2013 and 2015-2017, which represent the three years before codeine availability decreased and the three years afterwards. We hypothesized that decreased availability would relate to an increase in positive references to codeine use in rap songs. We randomly sampled 49 rap songs, equally divided between the two time frames, specifically seeking songs that had at least one mention of codeine. We searched keywords known to be street terms for codeine (e.g., lean, dirty sprite, purple drank, double cup). Each song was coded by two raters for number of references to codeine in the lyrics. The reference was further identified as either having a positive, negative, or neutral connotation. The rap artist for each song was also identified by geographic region, because “purple drank” originated in Texas. Results revealed that codeine was mentioned more frequently and more positively in rap songs after it was no longer available over the counter; this pattern did not differ across regions. These positive references are concerning because of the widely documented association between rap music and substance abuse. Our study identifies a specific form of drug abuse perpetuated by the rap music industry and adds to the very limited scholarly research on this issue.

Previously Presented/Performed?

Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, Jacksonville, Florida, March 2019

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 – Ritzer

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Apr 12th, 2:15 PM Apr 12th, 4:15 PM

Codeine References in Rap Music Increase after Codeine Availability Decreases

Richardson Ballroom – DiGiorgio Campus Center

Increased consumption of “purple drank,” a combination of codeine cough syrup and soda, is linked to more frequent listening to rap music. In 2014, combined promethazine/codeine was pulled from the over-the-counter market. We examined how rap lyrics reflected this change in codeine availability. We focused on the time periods 2011-2013 and 2015-2017, which represent the three years before codeine availability decreased and the three years afterwards. We hypothesized that decreased availability would relate to an increase in positive references to codeine use in rap songs. We randomly sampled 49 rap songs, equally divided between the two time frames, specifically seeking songs that had at least one mention of codeine. We searched keywords known to be street terms for codeine (e.g., lean, dirty sprite, purple drank, double cup). Each song was coded by two raters for number of references to codeine in the lyrics. The reference was further identified as either having a positive, negative, or neutral connotation. The rap artist for each song was also identified by geographic region, because “purple drank” originated in Texas. Results revealed that codeine was mentioned more frequently and more positively in rap songs after it was no longer available over the counter; this pattern did not differ across regions. These positive references are concerning because of the widely documented association between rap music and substance abuse. Our study identifies a specific form of drug abuse perpetuated by the rap music industry and adds to the very limited scholarly research on this issue.