Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs
Focusing primarily on lyrics that emerged in 1990s New York rap, which critiqued the music industry for being corrupt, unjust, and criminal, Bogazianos shows how many rappers began drawing parallels between the “rap game” and the “crack game." He argues that the symbolism of crack in rap’s stance towards its own commercialization represents a moral debate that is far bigger than hip hop culture, highlighting the degree to which crack cocaine—although a drug long in decline—has come to represent the entire paradoxical predicament of punishment in the U.S. today.
"This is easily the best academic book on hip hop and finally one that will make sense to those who listen to and care about rap music."
—Gregory J. Snyder, author of Graffiti Lives