“Blame Reagan for making me into a monster /Blame Oliver North and Iran-Contra / I ran contraband that they sponsored…” — Jay Z, “Blue Magic”
America is fascinated by tales of the exploits of gangsters, hustlers, dealers, and killers, but America is very rarely equipped, prepared, or inclined to deal with the fallout of these elements in real life.
Today, rappers like Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Migos and Jay Z have made millions — for themselves and others — by rapping about crack cocaine. The drug’s sale, its use, and its all-consuming ubiquity in the late ’80s and early ’90s has proven to be a treasure trove for the recording industry, for Hollywood, and for cable television “journalism.”
Movies like New Jack City, Paid In Full, Menace II Society, and Fresh still influence modern day narratives about life in the “hood,” and television shows like Narcos and The Wire dramatize the effects of the drug on cities, communities, neighborhoods, and people. This Summer FX’s new series Snowfall is bringing a new narrative to the table. From executive producer John Singleton, Snowfall takes you back to 1983 to showcase the origins of crack in South Central Los Angeles and the radical impact it still has on our culture today.