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Download 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs by Dimitri A. Bogazianos PDF

By Dimitri A. Bogazianos

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a legislation repealing probably the most debatable regulations in American legal justice background: the only hundred to 1 sentencing disparity among crack cocaine and powder wherein somebody convicted of "simply" owning 5 grams of crack (the similar of some sugar packets) have been required by means of legislation to serve at least 5 years in criminal. during this hugely unique paintings, Dimitri A. Bogazianos attracts on assets starting from tune lyrics to govt files to ascertain the profound symbolic effects of America's reliance in this punishment constitution, tracing the wealthy cultural linkages among America's battle on medicines, and the artistic contributions of these at once tormented by its harmful effects.

Focusing totally on lyrics that emerged in Nineteen Nineties ny rap, which critiqued the song for being corrupt, unjust, and felony, Bogazianos indicates what number rappers all started drawing parallels among the "rap game" and the "crack game," juxtaposing their very own exploits in highway 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 some distance larger than hip hop tradition, highlighting the measure to which crack cocaineoalthough a drug lengthy in declineohas come to symbolize the total paradoxical concern 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 position of punishment in American society extra typically, demonstrating that either crack and rap include a profound fight in regards to the morality of city lifestyles.

An awesome and cutting edge account of ways the worlds of crack and rap collide, overlap, and eventually implode, the ebook takes you areas you wouldn't anticipate, points of interest merely infrequently visible, and sounds so haunting they are going to be not easy to fail to remember. this can be a compelling learn and a wanted contribution from sociology.

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

Sample text

S. crime-control policy, therefore, signified a symbolic turn away from perceived weakness and leniency as well as a practical turn toward making time served better approximate time given. S. S. crime policy is so rife with conflicting goals and paradoxical mandates that, rather than becoming the targeted policy it set out to be through the reigning in of overly lenient discretion, has instead become a “targeted sledgehammer”—a Zenlike word pairing that highlights its significantly counterproductive effects.

42 Similarly, Leroy, another crack dealer in the same book, describes how he deals with the irrational fear that his mere presence often seems to inspire in whites: “Sometimes it irks me. Like, you know, it clicks in my mind. Makes me want to write. I always write it down. Sometimes I write down the incident, what happened. ”44 In other words, music—and rap music in particular—serves multiple functions for those young people caught in the middle of crack’s paradoxical punishment, who are, as Bourgois’ book title plainly states, fundamentally, In Search of Respect.

Just as the crack trade flooded street-level drug markets with novice dealers, so too were streetlevel sex markets flooded with novice sex workers, which devalued specific sex acts through increased competition and a strange process of cross-commodification. As an example, going rates for oral sex were correlated with the price for drugs. Since crack was cheap, often around five dollars per vial, and women users provided oral sex in order to buy it, blowjobs were also priced down to five dollars. 71 Street-level prostitutes were now expected to do any number of acts that had previously been considered “deviant” by sex workers themselves, who perceived such non-normative sexual requests as a total compromise of principle.

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