I’d been meaning to post this article from The New Yorker about the popularity of cocaine-influenced rap lyrics. Is hip-hop really this desperate as to feel the need to glamorize this drug and put it back into the minds of the youth? And what about the culture at large? With the re-imergence of Kate Moss as the top fashion icon of the moment, cocaine is hotter than ever. But at what cost?
Coke Is It
Rap’s Drug Obsession
by Sasha Frere-Jones
December 25th, 2006
In September, the magazine W announced that cocaine is again a fashionable vice. In pop music, cocaine never went away. Even if some people cluck disapprovingly, most accept the tendency of pop stars to use drugs—to fuel creativity, calm nerves, and liquidate record-company advances. When Keith Richards fell out of a coconut tree in Fiji last April and injured his head, the incident was greeted by jokes about whether there was much left inside his skull to harm. TV shows like VH1’s “Behind the Music” thrive on stories of musicians on drug binges, snorting lines off recording-studio consoles. This fall, Eric Clapton, who has been sober for years, decided to reinstate “Cocaine,” the louche hit song from his 1977 album “Slowhand,” in his live set.
What is a life-style choice in pop is a livelihood in hip-hop. Almost every m.c. raps about selling cocaine, whether he’s a veteran like Jay-Z, who likes to invoke his stint as a teen-age dealer, or a newcomer like Rick Ross, who built his 2006 début album, “Port of Miami,” around the conceit of being the biggest coke dealer in town. Two hip-hop acts, Clipse and Young Jeezy, rap about dealing more than about anything else, and their music has prompted critics to christen a new subgenre: cocaine rap. Clipse is Gene (Malice) and Terrence (Pusha T) Thornton, a pair of brothers from Virginia, whose brilliantly terse and abrasive second album, “Hell Hath No Fury,” came out last month; Young Jeezy is a twenty-eight-year-old from Atlanta, whose woozy and uneven second album, “The Inspiration,” was released last week. These m.c.s boast of their skill as salesmen, not of their lives as partygoers.
Read The Full Article Here.