Jay Z is getting political. This month, the rapper narrated a short film illustrated by Molly Crabapple that depicted just how flat-out racist the supposed “war on drugs” really is.
A History of the War on Drugs is a fast-paced history lesson on how Ronald Reagan screwed over communities of color by getting rid of social safety nets, cutting funding for education, and implementing mass incarceration and longer sentences for black men charged with crack or weed possession, over white men arrested for cocaine possession. The war on drugs, Jay Z says in the video, i’s not only racist but it has been an epic fail.
“We learn how African-Americans can make up around 13 percent of the United States population — yet 31 percent of those arrested for drug law violations, even though they use and sell drugs at the same rate as whites,” Jay Z wrote in his op-ed for The New York Times. You can watch A History of the War on Drugs in its entirety below.
Jay Z has spoken out about the injustices he faced as a young black crack dealer, most notably in his songs like “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” So hopefully you won’t have to go through that,” he raps.
Molly Crabapple is a kickass artist-activist, herself. She has spoken out against corporations for not caring about artists and the creative process, which we found rather enlightening and interesting considering Jay Z’s image as a brand whore.
“Once a corporation is involved, it’s best to be cynical about it. Even if the art director working for Disney is a really cool person, and even if you really understand each other, Disney does not give a fuck about either of you,” Molly said in an interview with 99u. “I’m proud of the work I’ve done at all of those places, but I’d be delusional to think the parent companies of these outlets cared about me or any of their other employees in any deep way.”
Watch A History of the War on Drugs below to get up to speed. And California voters can learn more about Proposition 64, a measure that could reduce, eliminate and retroactively erase sentences for lesser drug-related offenses.