Hip Hop and the Crack Epidemic

1701 Words Dec 4th, 2011 7 Pages
It was during the mid-1980s that the emergence of a new smokable form of cocaine, called crack, had been introduced to the United States. Crack, was highly-addictive and swept through impoverished areas of cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Miami. In the end it caused devastating effects for black and Latino Americans. As crack cocaine was becoming a grim and rising epidemic, hip hop was evolving alongside it. It was in the 1980s that crack cocaine and hip hop became the two leading fundamentals of urban street culture. It is not suggested that hip hop caused the crack epidemic, or vice versa. But, it can be argued that both fed off each other, particularly hip hop off the crack culture itself.
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There is little question that he came from the streets, but this had been a growing comparison among the correlation of hip hop and the crack generation. “Not only did black teenagers in similar situations relate to what Eazy was talking about, but white suburban kids fantasized about being in his situation” (Eriewine).
The crack cocaine business continued to thrive. “Freeway Rick was at the top of his game and helping to spread crack across the country” (Planet Rock). In the beginning, crack had only been found by the DEA, to be isolated in seven major cities. Approximately a year after that, it was found to have spread to more than 40 different cities across the United States; including Dallas and Des Moines, Iowa (Planet Rock). It got to a point where people came from all over just to buy the drug. “It was kind of like exporting a business almost ...or exporting a product” (Planet Rock).
Chuck D of Public Enemy stated, “City by city, this white tornado was swirling on; just wiping out black America. We said we had to do something to make this seem very unattractive to a young audience.” Public Enemy’s in your face track, “Night of the Living Baseheads”, became an anti-crack epic. It was consensuses, among the group, that crack cocaine was appalling. “4, 5 o’clock in the mornin’, wait a minute y’all/ The fiends are fiendin’/ Day to day to day they say no other way/ This stuff is really bad, I’m talkin’ ‘bout … BASS” (Public Enemy).
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