Thursday, May 26, 2022

Jay Z Narrates NY Times Op-Ed Video Criticizing U.S. War on Drugs (Watch)

Jay-Z smiles as he sits courtside as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Jay-Z smiles as he sits courtside as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on April 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

*The New York Times enlisted Jay Z and writer-illustrator Molly Crabapple to create a video op-ed piece that condemns the nation’s longstanding and largely ineffective War on Drugs.

The 4 minute video begins with the 1971 Nixon administration and moves up to present-day Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, with Jay Z explaining the inequality and contradictions inherent in America’s policing of drug abuse – using statistics and observation of political movements as well as his own story.

“Rates of drug use are as high as they were when Nixon declared this so-called war in 1971,” says Hov in the piece. “45 years later, it’s time to rethink our policies and laws. The war on drugs is an epic fail,” he concludes.

The multimedia project was initiated by Dream Hampton, the filmmaker and a co-author of Jay Z’s book “Decoded.”

Hampton, also a producer on the video, is part of a group called Revolve Impact that “connects artists and influencers to community organizers.” Her desire was to create a project inspired by Michelle Alexander, the author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” In the book, the author asks, “Why were white men poised to get rich doing the very same thing that African-American boys and men had long been going to prison for?”

The project was written and narrated by Jay Z, illustrated by Crabapple, produced and directed by Jim Batt and Kim Boekbinder with sound design by Boekbinder.

Watch below:

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