A Partial Crack Playlist

Although crack sales and addiction were ramping up in 1983, when Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel recorded this song, they’re referring to the powder cocaine of the 1970s, not to rock cocaine (crack). Note that Melle Mel portrays a Baron Samedi-like character in the video.

“Dopeman,” N.W.A., 1988

Too Short, “The Ghetto,” 1990, which draws on conscious soul music of the 1960s:

De La Soul, “My Brother’s A Basehead,” 1991.

Nas, “Represent,” 1994.

Jay Z, “Rap Game/ Crack Game,” 1997

50 Cent, “Ghetto Qu’ran,” 2000.

Immortal Technique, “Dance with the Devil,” 2001

The Clipse, “Virginia,” 2002

Kanye West, “Crack Music,” 2005: he argues that Ronald Reagan cooked crack in order to destroy black radical politics.

Ghostface Killah, “Columbus Exchange (Skit) / Crack Spot,” 2006

Gucci Mane, “My Kitchen,” 2007

Jay-Z, “Blue Magic,” 2007: he takes up Kanye’s theme, above.

Ka, “Up Against Goliath,” 2012

Killer Mike, “Reagan,” 2012: Killer Mike charges that Reaganomics is the basis of the destructive whirlwind unleashed by crack, and that Reagan’s illegal Iran-Contra exchange brought crack into the black community.

The late Capital Steez, also 2012, “Free the Robots.” He also suggests that the policies of Ronald Reagan, as well as pressure from unseen forces, have destroyed the Black community through crack.