Ice-T said he watched crack “consume a generation.”
RZA said, “This crack culture influenced our music.”
Pepa (pictured), breaking down in tears, said one of her family members was a crack addict, lamenting about how the drug “took so many people down.”
All of that may very well be true, but aside from those and other similar vignettes from a small sampling of rappers, “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” —the wonderfully entertaining and informative VH1 documentary premiering Sunday night at 10 p.m. (EST)—ironically does not have that much to do with hip-hop itself.
It is, however, a veritable crack almanac, describing in great detail everything you ever wanted to know about the drug, from its inception to the height of its popularity to what is alleged as its eventual demise in the early 90s.
The fact that crack’s road to prominence ran chronologically parallel to that of hip-hop is, no matter how hard this documentary tries to prove otherwise, merely a coincidence.
The hip-hop community has historically demonized the solid form of cocaine. "Crack is whack" was the prevailing thought in rap in the ’80s and ’90s and pretty much still is. Despite that, many artists championed its sales as a ways to an eventual, legitimate means, and several instances of the latter are featured prominently throughout the documentary.
But that is the closest it comes to what is eventually a vain attempt at connecting hip-hop and crack, since one was not necessarily a root cause for the other, and vice versa.
The producers of this documentary missed those points while still managing to bring a quality, informative documentary to the small screen, regardless of how much of a misnomer the title may be.
Watch a clip from the VH1 special below.
*** BC-TW is a journalist and social and cultural critic, regularly publishing news and opinion pieces regarding the state of Hiphop culture as a means to provide a unique perspective of its present and future.
BC-TW is a journalist and social and cultural critic, regularly publishing news and opinion pieces regarding the state of Hiphop culture as a means to provide a unique perspective of its present and future.