back on the 80s and 90s, few can argue the catastrophic effect of crack cocaine on the black community. When crack cocaine hit the streets in the early 80s, it opened up an entire new market for drug users. Individuals who normally couldn’t afford the expensive high of cocaine, could now receive a more intensified euphoric intoxicate from crack cocaine which cost substantially lesser than its progenitor and was extremely addictive. Within two decades, crack had exacted a heavy toll, leaving serious physical and emotional side effects not only on its users, but also on an entire community and on the United States as a whole.
“VH1’s new documentary, Planet Rock explores how the drug transformed popular culture, specifically hip-hop and changed America socially and politically. There have been other documentary stories about the effect of crack cocaine on American cities but none that focus on the influences of the crack epidemic on hip-hop and popular culture”.
Told through first-person accounts from infamous dealers like Harlem’s Azie and Los Angeles kingpin Freeway Ricky Ross as well as experts like Nelson George and Dr Todd Boyd. The doc holds viewers attention by visually illustrating what America looked like during this horrific epidemic particularly the inner cities of New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. Kudos to the producers for finding complementary stock footage and tastefully utilizing animations.
Throwing a different spin on what you might have seen in other related documentaries on the subject, Planet Rock features candid interviews from some of hip-hops most popular artist like Snoop Dogg who openly discusses his days of dealing drugs and Wu Tang Clan’s Raekwon and RZA discuss using and selling the substance before ultimately creating a hip hop empire crafted from the business model of the crack hustle. Executive producer and narrator, Ice-T adds authenticity to the compelling special. Anyone who lived in the inner cities of America will be brought back to an era in this country when crack zombies walked the streets; drug dealers flashed their blood money and the government attacked the victims of the epidemic instead of eradicating the core problem.
Kick back and Watch how crack influenced Hip Hop we know today