In collaboration with the New York Times, the rapper attacks the American inequalities in the legal and illegal drug trade
When not busy being a world-famous music mogul and the arm candy on the right side of Beyoncé, Jay-Z can occasionally be found offering his take on the so-called ‘War on Drugs’ to the New York Times. In a new short film, the rapper, born Shawn Carter in 1969, takes viewers through the campaign of prohibition of drugs, military aid, and military intervention the US started in 1971 with the aim of destroying the narcotics trade.
Lending his voice to the project, Jay-Z narrates over illustrations drawn by artist Molly Crabapple, chronicling how the official policies have taken a disproportionate toll on people of colour in America, most notably the black and Latino communities. As Jay-Z sums it up, “The war on drugs is an epic fail.”
With marijuana now legalised in some of the states, the above-board drug economy has now become one of the biggest booms in American commerce. But with the legal market dominated by white sellers, built on the back of decades of illegal trade that has overwhelmingly resulted in disproportional punishment for people of colour, now those same people will be locked out of the legitimate business opportunities.
Take a look at the short film in full below: