The drug epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s had a profound impact on American culture, especially hip-hop. In the new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation”, Ice-T looks back at this period in history to explore how crack cocaine impacted popular culture, as well as the economic, political, and social fabric of America.
Based largely on interviews with four former dealers turned rappers – Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, RZA and Raekwon from the Wu-Tang Clan – “Planet Rock” takes an unflinching look at how crack transformed the inner cities of America through violence, pain, grief and death. It is also a powerful story about how some of these drug dealers used their street stories to become hit recording artists. As journalist Cheo Choker notes in the documentary: “It’s fascinating to think that Jay Z — a global icon who had better seats at President Obama’s inauguration than Jesse Jackson — was once a New York City crack dealer.”
Through rare footage, photos and animation set against iconic hip hop tracks from the era, “Planet Rock” shows how media hysteria, racism and political reaction created laws which led to mass incarceration of African Americans. But it is also a story of hope; how those same people used their experience with drugs to create something beautiful out of tragedy.
“Planet Rock” offers an essential look into one of hip hop’s most formative eras – an era filled with both peril and possibility. With its powerful message about turning life into art no matter what your circumstances may be – this is one documentary you won’t want to miss. So don’t delay; watch Planet Rock today!