5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a law repealing one of the most controversial policies in American criminal justice history: the one hundred to one sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder whereby someone convicted of “simply” possessing five grams of crack—the equivalent of a few sugar packets—had been required by law to serve no less than five years in prison. In this highly original work, Dimitri A. Bogazianos draws on various sources to examine the profound symbolic consequences of America’s reliance on this punishment structure, tracing the rich cultural linkages between America’s War on Drugs, and the creative contributions of those directly affected by its destructive effects.
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
1995 USSC Report album American argued August 16 become Biggie Biggie’s Bourgois chapter commercialization commission’s complex corporate crack cocaine crack dealers crack game crack-era create crime criminal justice criminological structure cultural Death Row Death Row Records drug efforts element example faceless federal freebase gang Glock Gun Will Travel hip hop hip hop culture humiliation Ibid important kingpins lethal violence lyrical mandatory minimum moral music business music industry mythology Nas’s neighborhood new-era Notorious B.I.G. ofthe old school one’s paradoxical punishment percent Philippe Bourgois political potential prison productive punishment structure punitive rap artists rap game rap industry rap music rap’s rap’s conflict rappers record labels role ruthless school violence Sentencing shot simply social sociologist song street structure of feeling Suge Knight Suge’s suggests symbolic Things Done Changed tion trafficking Tupac Tupac Shakur underground University Press white-collar words York rap young youth