The Rap Game’s embrace of the Crack Game

words by Joshua Stohl

Cocaine and crack have always had a place in rap. What better preachers to push drug dealing ideologies than those that lived it. However every song I hear lately has a blatant reference to it. From White Girl to Pushin’, to White Lines and Dope Man, cocaine is a strongarm of the rap game, leaving runny noses in the dust. Often times it feels like there is a “pledge allegiance” to cocaine. Honestly, I get tired of hearing about dope. It gets dull and old, only a few rappers seem to actually pull it off in a luxurious manner (Jay Z, BIG, Clipse, NWA, Dipset, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, T.I.).

The rest seem to be on the bandwagon of slinging rhymes by the kilos. I will admit, I do have the occasional urge to blast some lyrically-crisp rap spoken through Vaseline-lubed bricks, however, the concept becomes over-done.

It’s ironic that many rappers who rhyme about it have never moved an ounce in their life. But the action of dealing really doesn’t matter, it’s the swift mentality, fluent delivery, and rugged rhymes that speak volume to the ear. Why sell coke if you can rhyme about it and get paid?

If you want to learn how to sell coke with swift finesse, just listen to Clipse’s “I’m not you” an authentic portrayal of dealing blow.

“I keep the Ziploc bustin at the stitches“
“From the panel to the dash, its four pounds of slab”
“Rappers is talking to me as if we in the same boat,
I tell them quick no I move Coke.”

Clipse brings a horribly riveting elegance to the coke trade, much like the film Scarface did. What I appreciate about Malice and Pusha (Clipse) is their genuinely candid lyrics that capture the pain of dealing drugs. “It shames me to no end / to feed poison to those that could very well be my kin / But where there’s demand, someone will supply / So I feed them their needs at the same time cry.” It’s a rarity in hip hop that rappers can not only effortlessly peel off lyrics about drug dealing, but layer them in such rawness.

Despite the inevitable outcome of drug dealing (prison, death), many rappers have had their fair share resulting in successful rap careers. Crack and coke have a ferocious appetite within the hip hop marketplace. If you sling crack crumbs on the corner or move “snowflakes by the O Z” (Jay-Z) through the hood, can passionately spit rhymes, then you may have an opportunity to win over anxiously waiting fans. Like Nas said, “Somehow the rap game reminds me of the crack game.” Rap reels in fans like dope fiends hit after hit.

Rap and pushing drugs often require the same necessities. Stamina, street smarts, ability to hustle, bravado, ego, strategic placement of products, expansion, commitment and a hostile persona of not resting on glory. Moving weight is big money.

Drugs make loot whether they’re being rapped about or smuggled across cities. I don’t hear rap songs about dealing weed too often. And heroin is too taboo to rap about, aside from a line by Clipse, “One give you the sniffles, the other, leave you with the itches.” Junkies don’t exactly portray an attractive lifestyle, but coke is a lucrative drug glorified by numerous celebrities and musicians. Now crack, well that just shatters souls hit after hit, but is definitely a vital component to many rap tracks.

“Ten Crack Commandments” has to be the number one rap song strictly dedicated to enforcing the rules of the crack game. “I done squeezed mad clips at these cats for they bricks and chips” , “Number five, never sell no crack where you rest at, I don’t care if they want a ounce, tell em bounce.” This song is preached by a man who practiced it. Biggie made slinging crack sound respectfully artistic in a street fashioned approach.

In the end, I appreciate artists that have consistently delivered albums despite what they rap about. I just get bored with every upcoming entrepreneur-rapper that boasts his claim to selling drugs and how they’re kings. It’s a joke to me. A king would be considered the legendary Pablo Escobar from Columbia who happened to create the coke trade within America over 30 years ago. If he were still alive and happened to rap, he’d be on the charts and the most sought after artist. Rappers fall off the market all the time and go unheard of. Like I said before, the rap game and drug game involve the same marketing tools to become triumphant.

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