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

By Dimitri A. Bogazianos

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a legislations repealing essentially the most debatable regulations in American legal justice background: the only hundred to at least one sentencing disparity among crack cocaine and powder wherein a person convicted of "simply" owning 5 grams of crack (the an identical of some sugar packets) were required by means of legislations to serve at the least 5 years in criminal. during this hugely unique paintings, Dimitri A. Bogazianos attracts on resources starting from track lyrics to executive files to envision the profound symbolic outcomes of America's reliance in this punishment constitution, tracing the wealthy cultural linkages among America's struggle on medications, and the inventive contributions of these without delay stricken by its damaging effects.

Focusing totally on lyrics that emerged in Nineties long island rap, which critiqued the track for being corrupt, unjust, and legal, Bogazianos indicates what number rappers started drawing parallels among the "rap game" and the "crack game," juxtaposing their very own exploits in road 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 a ways higher than hip hop tradition, highlighting the measure to which crack cocaineoalthough a drug lengthy in declineohas come to symbolize the total paradoxical crisis of punishment within the U.S. this present day. This well timed and cutting edge research has vast implications for the learn of crime and tradition in addition to the function of punishment in American society extra in most cases, demonstrating that either crack and rap comprise a profound fight concerning the morality of city lifestyles.

An impressive and leading edge account of ways the worlds of crack and rap collide, overlap, and eventually implode, the ebook takes you areas you wouldn't anticipate, attractions purely infrequently obvious, and sounds so haunting they are going to be not easy to fail to remember. it is a compelling learn and a wanted contribution from sociology.

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

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What was more, the mandatory minimums, in fact, trumped the commission’s guidelines if there was a conflict between them. 33 By guaranteeing specific sentences if guilt is determined, the charging document filed by the district attorney becomes the sentence, which effectively negates the sentencing judge’s ability to consider individual circumstances in order to serve the interests of justice. Legislators, on the other hand, argue that the passing of mandatory minimums reflects the democratic process at its best: elected officials passing laws that address the most serious concerns of their constituents.

While almost identical, the two sibling forms of smokeable cocaine were perceived by Congress as having distinctly different potentials of danger. In truth, freebase is inherently more dangerous than crack. According to the commission, “[M]any resisted the freebasing process because of its complexity and potential danger. ”20 Interestingly, then, the fact that crack was an inherently less dangerous form of base came to be, paradoxically, an indication that it was more dangerous. The danger of crack, that is, lay in its potential to spread beyond the confines of upper-middle-class consumption because it was, by nature, less dangerous and, therefore, could be more easily adopted by users who feared the freebasing process.

And, in an even more interesting turn, this emphasis on perception was taken up as one of the primary causative elements by criminologists George L. Kelling and James Q. ”24 Dependent upon a belief that the “untended behavior” of disreputable people leads to spiraling urban decay, broken windows theory conferred a very clear importance on the connection between community fears of crime and actual crime. ” As a result, “Adults stop scolding rowdy children; the children, emboldened, become more rowdy.

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