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Get 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs PDF

By Dimitri A. Bogazianos

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a legislations repealing some of the most debatable rules in American legal justice heritage: the only hundred to 1 sentencing disparity among crack cocaine and powder wherein an individual convicted of "simply" owning 5 grams of crack (the similar of some sugar packets) have been required through legislation to serve at the least 5 years in legal. during this hugely unique paintings, Dimitri A. Bogazianos attracts on assets starting from music lyrics to govt records to ascertain the profound symbolic results of America's reliance in this punishment constitution, tracing the wealthy cultural linkages among America's struggle on medicinal drugs, and the inventive contributions of these at once tormented by its harmful effects.

Focusing totally on lyrics that emerged in Nineteen Nineties big apple rap, which critiqued the track for being corrupt, unjust, and legal, Bogazianos indicates what number rappers all started drawing parallels among the "rap game" and the "crack game," juxtaposing their very own exploits in road crime with the machinations of executives within the suites. He argues that the symbolism of crack in rap's stance in the direction of its personal commercialization represents an ethical debate that's a ways higher than hip hop tradition, highlighting the measure to which crack cocaineoalthough a drug lengthy in declineohas come to symbolize the whole paradoxical situation of punishment within the U.S. at the present time. This well timed and cutting edge research has colossal implications for the examine of crime and tradition in addition to the function of punishment in American society extra regularly, demonstrating that either crack and rap include a profound fight in regards to the morality of city existence.

An awesome and leading edge account of ways the worlds of crack and rap collide, overlap, and finally implode, the publication takes you areas you wouldn't anticipate, points of interest purely infrequently noticeable, and sounds so haunting they are going to be not easy to omit. it is a compelling learn and a wanted contribution from sociology.

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Additional info for 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs (Alternative Criminology)

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Those criminals would also have to 36 The Invisible Hand Holds a Gun serve time in jail. 30 Another, even more problematic contradiction at the heart of the law, however, was that crack, while treated as more lethal than any drug before it, has always been a low-level enterprise. Crack’s Inherent Retail Status The Kingpin Strategy, which, ironically, came to treat simple possession as if it were complex distribution, targeted an enterprise that occurs primarily at the retail level. In the words of the commission, “Conversion of powder cocaine to crack occurs at both wholesale and retail levels,”31 but “rarely, if ever, is [crack] imported into the United States.

According to the commission, “[M]any resisted the freebasing process because of its complexity and potential danger. ”20 Interestingly, then, the fact that crack was an inherently less dangerous form of base came to be, paradoxically, an indication that it was more dangerous. The danger of crack, that is, lay in its potential to spread beyond the confines of upper-middle-class consumption because it was, by nature, less dangerous and, therefore, could be more easily adopted by users who feared the freebasing process.

Perhaps the most interesting example of the late-seventies-era tough-on-crime mood, however, is Escape from New York. Released in 1981, and set in the future of 1997, the film opens with a briefly worded description: in response to a fictional four hundred percent rise in crime, in 1988, the federal government turned Crack, Rap, and the Punitive Turn 21 the entire island of Manhattan into a penal colony surrounded by a fiftyfoot containment wall and guarded by police personnel instructed to shoot any potential escapees on sight.

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