“Cocaine wasn’t new and neither was selling it. There had always been older dudes who grew their pinkie fingernails out to sniff coke. There were always down-low dealers who partied with their customers as they supplied them…. But for the most part doing coke was something that happened at private parties, something you mightn’t of heard about but had never really seen. ” (Jay-Z 18) Cocaine was a drug popular in the ass’s but was known to be very expensive.
In the mid-1980 there became a sinkable form of cocaine introduced to the world called crack. Crack was now as freebase cocaine in the sass’s but required the ether to make. Freeway Rick Ross was a drug dealer from Los Angles who simplified the freebase process by using baking soda creating a hard substance called crack cocaine and spreading the world. Crack Cocaine is heated in a pipe, and can be either smoked or injected and gives a fast, intense high, while powder cocaine is snorted through the nose with a delayed and less intense high.
Crack became peoples drug of choice because crack entered your system faster and was cheap as low as $2. 50 a gram. As crack cocaine became a terrible and ruling epidemic, hip-hop was going with It. It as In the sass that crack cocaine and hip-hop became a foundation In urban communities. Hip hop started offing New York when they used to have block parties and people would start rapping over beats or someone beat boxing and the dance crave of breaking and b-boning where people would move to the beat.
Sadly hip hop artist started glorifying the crack epidemic by calling themselves Curtis Blow and Melt Mel had a song called “white lines”. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five took a different approach to the crack epidemic with a song called “The Message” by saying “You’ll admire all the number-book takers Thugs, pimps and pushers and the gig money-makers Driven’ big cars, spending; twenties and tens And you’ll want grow up to be Just like them, huh”.
Also during the sass’s economic times were bad and people in the urban communities started either selling crack or becoming addicted it. Jay-Z was one of those many people who started selling crack. Crack was making an impact regardless if you liked It or not. People who wanted a stronger high than marijuana, Jumped at the chance to try It out which led to an Increased number of addicts. In the hip-hop community looked at the 1983 Surface film as their life. “So many people saw their story in that movie. No one literally looked in the mirror and saw Tony Montana staring back at them.
I hope. But there are people who feel Tony’s emotions as if they were their own, feel the words he speaks like thieve coming out of their own mouths. ” (Jay-Z, 157) Crack was very dangerous and addictive. Dealers were only getting themselves deeper Into the drug business because Crack heads would be so dependent on the drug that they would steal and just about do anything just for more of the drug. “Crack heads were different. They’d smoke in hallways, on playgrounds, on subway station staircases. They got no respect.
They were former gibbers, “aunts” and “uncles,” but once they started smoking, they were simply crack heads, the lowest on the food chain in the Jungle, worse than prostitutes and the inner city neighborhoods, with gang members and drug dealers controlling the neighborhoods. Crack heads had no remorse for their families. They would leave their children in a house for days Just to go sit in the crack house or prostitute themselves for crack. “l lost people I loved, was betrayed by people I trusted, felt the breeze of bullets flying by my head.
I saw crack addiction destroy families-?it almost destroyed mine-?but I sold it, too. I stood on cold corners far from home in the middle of the night serving crack fiends and then balled ridiculously in Vegas; I went dead broke and got hood rich on those streets. I hated it. I was addicted to it. It nearly killed me. ” Ay-Z, 21) The media started showing the negative effects of the crack epidemic in the African American communities. Len Bias was an up and coming basketball player for the Boston Celtic that died from a cocaine overdose.
President Reagan was forced to pass stricter drug laws, because of the rise of drug trafficking and violence over selling territory that would put more people in Jail. The deeper causes of the crack explosion were in policies concocted by a government that was hostile to us, almost genocidal hostile when you think about how they aided or tolerated the unleashing of guns and drugs on poor communities, while at the same time cutting back on schools, housing, and assistance programs. And to top it all off, they threw in the so-called war on drugs, which was really a war on us.
There were racist new laws put on the books, like the drug laws that penalized the possession of crack cocaine with more severe sentences than the possession of powder. Three-strike laws could put young guys in Jail for twenty-five years for nonviolent crimes. The disease of addiction was treated as a crime. The rate of incarceration went through the roof. ” Ay-Z, 92) The anti-drug abuse law of 1986 law was a five-year minimum sentence if you had five grams of crack, which was a high sentence than the people who were arrested with powder cocaine.
Drug dealers and hip hop artist were influencing society during this time by the type of clothes people wore like big gold chains and designer clothes, type of cars and lifestyle people wanted to badly to have. A lot of current hip hop artist were selling drugs to get money to get studio time and pay for their music. Hip- hop artist sold their records to drug dealers and referenced the hustling that drug dealers did. Drug dealers turned hip hop artist used their music as a way to tell their story and used the drug money to start their own record companies.
This type of Hip hop music spread Just like the crack and anti-drug epidemic. Public Enemy was apart of some of the hip hop artist who rapped about crack being wacko. President Bush went on television and said that crack was found in a park right across the white souse when that was not true and in turn the president tried to seize as much crack as possible. The television show COPS begin during the crack epidemic. Task forces were being formed to take down crack dealers and drug pins.
The crack epidemic was slowly fading because people were being locked up or dying left and right. “Chuck D famously called hip-hop the CNN of the ghetto, and he was right, but hip- hop would be as boring as the news if all Masc. did was report. Rap is also me hustling is the ultimate metaphor for the basic human struggles: the struggle to survive and resist, the struggle to win and to make sense of it all. This is why the hustler’s story-?through hip-hop-?has connected with a global audience.
The deeper we get into those sidewalk cracks and into the mind of the young hustler trying to find his fortune there, the closer we get to the ultimate human story, the story of struggle, which is what defines us all. ” Ay-Z, 21) Being in Jail, rapper Snoop Dog turned into a hip-hop artist and his first single “Deep Cover” about his crack arrest. Hip hop music kept telling a story but instead of talking about dealing crack, artist started talking about the violence of from the police. “It wasn’t until I saw movies like
Boozy n the Hood and Menace II Society that I could see how real crack culture had become all over the country. It makes sense, since it came from L. A. , that the whole gangs rap movement would be supported schematically. ” Ay-Z, 20) Movies about the crack epidemic like New Jack City was huge for the hip hop community to show society what crack actually was about. Hip hop music getting popular in the sass’s was allowing dealers to change their life and get out of the drug game. Jay-Z was one of those people who turned to music in 1990. “My personal breakthroughs came in stages….