Jay Z returns to the media circuit with a message that rings louder than any guest verse he dropped this year. The Brooklynite stands on the other side of the drug spectrum to place a lens on the disparity between drug sentences for black and brown people as compared to whites who use and sell narcotics at the same rate, the New York Times reports.
With a list of statistics that’ll put into perspective the main topic, the “Song Cry” rapper takes viewers on a history trip of how this “war on drugs” actually came to be, all set to the illustration of artist Molly Crabapple. “Crack is still talked about as a black problem,” the Roc Nation leader states.
Produced by Dream Hampton, the video was partly created in response to author Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” the news site reads. One of the central questions within the passage was the monetary gains that white men receive off of selling drugs while African-American men endure extensive prison stints for doing the same thing.
Now, with the legalization of marijuana in certain states, black and brown people are still held at a disadvantage in making a living off of selling the drug. “Venture capitalists migrate to these states to open multi-billion dollar operations, but former felons can’t open a dispensary,” Jay Z said. “Lots of times those felonies were drug charges caught by poor people who sold drugs for a living, but are now prohibited from participating in one of the fastest-growing economies.”
Watch the necessary short film below.