Somewhat lost in the shuffle of Sunday night’s football blockbuster, VH1 aired a program detailing the parallels of crack-cocaine and Hip Hop which turned out to be a pretty damn good show. Planet Rock: The Story Of Hip-Hop And The Crack Generation did not exactly reinvent the wheel, but still managed to grasp the fatal, yet wildly creative era somewhat coherently. Like Maurice noted, most who grew up during the 1980’s or those who have studied the evolution of the culture know about how destructive and mutually important crack was during the infant stages of Hip Hop’s life. The interesting twist in this is seeing how much the media played a part in the spread of the drug.
Being born in 1986, I very vaguely remember the decade and those memories mainly surface around preschool. So it was visually fulfilling to see how the coverage of the drug was so one sided. In fact, how crack was portrayed as a “ghetto drug” that was only used by blacks from the most impoverished of settings still dominates stereotypes to this day. Mainstream media saw it as an evil crippling the very foundation of America. Hip Hop, from the artists who actually grew up around the drug, saw the narcotic as a way out of the endless cycle of despair. And somewhere in between actually laid the truth.