White Lines

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Ever since Melle Mel’s 1983 hit “White Lines,” cocaine has long been a fixture in rap. As the crack epidemic took its course, everyone from De La Soul to N.W.A. had crack-cocaine on the mind with songs like “My Brother’s a Basehead” and “Dopeman.” Hip-hop had made one thing clear, being strung out was by all means unheard of and looked down upon; selling drugs, however, was conversely, the most preferred form of employment next to rhyming and playing basketball. As drug laws became more severe and unequal for cocaine and crack-cocaine, dealers shifted from selling freebase to shoveling snow. As the drug game changed, rappers did not hesitate to lace their rhymes with tales of courting their “white girl” and delivering “the raw uncut.” Alleged drug dealing rappers have used their album covers to portray their drug past

The Clipse – Hell Hath No Fury
The Clipse have long considered themselves the bakers’ men of the industry. Cooking coke to crack has become a staple in their rap persona and the cover of Hell Hath No Fury exhibits this. On the cover, Malice and Pusha T are lounging around an old-fashioned oven affront a money covered wall. The oven represents the process needed to create crack from cocaine and the crowns The Clipse are wearing represent what they believe to be their rule over hip-hop and drug sale alike.

Juelz Santana & JR Writer – Sugar Hill 2
The self proclaimed human crack in the flesh, Juelz Santana, has, for a long time, rapped about the trials and tribulations of the drug game. The cover of Santana and JR Writer’s mixtape Sugar Hill 2, epitomizes his Dope boy image. Juelz sits in a corner office dressed in a black pinstripe suit and signature bandana, blazed with blunt in hand hovering desk piled with cocaine. JR Writer stands behind Juelz in a Diplomats tee proudly boasting a hand full of money. As opposed to former Diplomat Cam’ron’s signature pink, the cover art’s theme is violet, signifying royalty and Dipset’s reign over the rap and coke industry.

Scarface – The Fix
The Geto Boys constituent, Scarface, went the extra mile with the cover art of his album, The Fix. The front cover shows an empty shot glass and a small mirror atop an old card table. Within the reflection of the mirror is Scarface glaring back in a tan suit and fedora. The inside cover features a picture of a rundown kitchen as well as a pocket that holds “the fix,” a mock dime bag filled with booklet album details. This indicates that Scarface delivers the raw uncut both musically and in the coke realm.

Ghostface Killah – Fishscale
As one ninth of the Wu-Tang clan, Ghostface has always been the most open with his drug affiliations and has demonstrated this throughout his music with album themes and cover art dedicated to the drug hustle. The album Fishscale shows Ghost in a worker men’s shirt with fish scale printed across the front and gloves with a fisherman’s knife in one hand skinning the fish in the other on a dock. Fishscale is drug terminology for very potent cocaine named for its shiny and flaky texture. The large net full of fish demonstrates the extent of Ghost’s coke career signifying that his “fishscale will always flood the streets.”

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Published: Format Magazine

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~ by neorealist on August 8, 2007.

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