Saturday, December 02, 2006

Exploring crack rap in hip-hop

COCAINE AND HIP-HOP share a long history but over the last few years, there's been a surge in coke-themed songs and artists — aka crack rap.

The roots of this fad date back to 2002, with the critical and commercial success of both Scarface's "The Fix" and especially the Clipse's "Lord Willin'." While Scarface spoke mostly on the necessary evils of drug dealing, the Clipse's Pusha T and Malice gleefully glorified hustling as the way into wealth rather than path out of poverty. Their songs were cartoonishly outrageous, even by Tony Montana-standards, as they co-opted children's rhymes into coke boasts and dropped punchlines about yayo-smuggling grandmothers.

Four years later and the genre shows little sign of decline. E-40 started off 2006 with his ode to blow, "White Gurl." Then a parade of mixtapes like Juelz Santana and Lil Wayne's "I Can't Feel My Face" kept things frosty until the last few weeks where Jay-Z's "Kingdom Come," the Clipse's "Hell Hath No Fury" and Young Jeezy's upcoming "Inspiration: Thug Motivation 102" promise that talk of snow this winter won't necessarily be about the weather.

Check out the rest on Inside Bay Area

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