After two decades of sluggish albums, ZZ Top has returned to raunchy, bluesy form. And the little ol' band from Texas owes it all to a hip-hop anthem from the streets of Houston.
He was one of the most influential cultural figures in Texas—a generous godfather to a generation of rappers, an entrepreneur of Houston's mean streets, the master of a scene fueled by codeine cough syrup and hip-hop beats. When he overdosed in November at the age of 29, it was easy to dismiss him as yet another musician who succumbed to his own success. But his story is more complicated than that.
The hip-hop inspired “purple drank” may have claimed its latest victim—former A&M defensive tackle Johnny Jolly of the Green Bay Packers—who faces prison time for possession of at least 200 grams of codeine, a key ingredient.