Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright
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In all of rap’s gangster mythology there is perhaps no more overused imagery than Brian De Palma’s 1983 movie, Scarface, especially its last scene. In it, Al Pacino, in a paranoid frenzy after snorting scoops of cocaine arranged like mountains on his desk, charges onto his balcony...
1. Crack, Rap, and the Punitive Turn
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In Kimbrough v. United States, one in a string of recent landmark decisions that, in effect, have made the United States Sentencing Commission’s guidelines nonbinding, the Supreme Court upheld a trial court judge’s decision to address the former 100-to-1 sentencing disparity between...
2. The Invisible Hand Holds a Gun: Law and Policy in the Lethal Regulation of Crack
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In addition to repealing the mandatory minimum for the simple possession of crack cocaine, the bill signed into law by President Obama in August 2010 also reduced the sentencing disparity between crack trafficking and powder trafficking from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1. ...
3. Rap Puts Crack to Work
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I want to begin this chapter with a description of two images. The first is a poster for rap star 50 Cent’s semiautobiographical movie Get Rich or Die Trying, which shows him from the back, with arms spread out in a Christlike pose, one hand holding a semiautomatic pistol, and the other a microphone. ...
4. Things Done Changed: The Rise of New School Violence
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In recent years, a number of local governments across the United States have tried to outlaw what many have taken to be signs of moral decay in the nation’s young: baggy pants. The theory is that the style began in prisons—where, as a suicide-prevention measure, inmates are often...
5. Training and Humiliation
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In all of 1990s New York rap, there is perhaps no better example of its emphasis on lyricism than Nas’s song, “One Love,”1 which came out the same year as “Things Done Changed.” Written as a letter to a friend in jail, the song describes changes in the neighborhood since his friend’s incarceration...
6. Facing the Corporation
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On September 6, 1996, Tupac Shakur was shot four times as he sat in the passenger side of a car while Suge Knight—the head of Tupac’s label, Death Row Records—was driving both of them to a club in Las Vegas after attending a Mike Tyson fight. Tupac died six days later. ...
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On February 23, 2008, an article in the New York Times alerted audiences to a new drug “scourge” in Argentina that has an eerie resemblance to the history of crack cocaine in the United States.1 The article charts the “irrepressible spread of paco, a highly addictive, smokable...
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Many years back, one of my mentors told our seminar he thought Moby Dick was one of the best books of scholarship he’d ever read. He was convinced that scholarship was a literary genre in its own right, and laughed when one of my classmates told him Moby Dick wasn’t...
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Index [Includes About the Author]
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2011