Rapper Jay Z’s most recent project was to make a video that provides a short history of the war on drugs, as part of a vision to inform the people about art and the wrongs that are part of the drug war.
According to The New York Times, who are also streaming the video, the film features the art of Molly Crabapple to help drive the point home that outlawing drugs was part of a misguided agenda with racist and anti-progress undertones.
The project was also made possible by Dream Hampton, the filmmaker, who co-authored Jay Z’s book, Decoded, the Drug Policy Alliance and a social impact agency known as Revolve Impact. Hampton approached the DPA about collaborating with Revolve, and Jay Z’s new movie, The War on Drugs is an Epic Fail, was born.
Hampton wanted to touch on a lot of the unfair aspects of the war on drugs, including the fact that today with legalization, white men are poised to get rich from what African Americans have been going to prison for for years. So even though this film points out issues with police brutality and unfair drug arrests, it makes a clear point that things aren’t just going to turn around instantly for African Americans now that cannabis is legal in some places.
Another purpose of the film, however, is to promote the passing of Prop. 64 in California this November, so that cannabis will be recreational in the state that Jay Z and Hampton call home at least part of the time. While it is clear that the minds behind this project still see some hypocrisy in the way that cannabis is being handled by the businessmen running the industry, they would rather see legalization. Hopefully, this movie will inspire viewers to get involved with legal cannabis and add more minority and POC voices to the cannabis industry.