Jay Z is using his platform to voice his opinions on the “epic fail” of the war on drugs in America.
Teaming up with artist Molly Crapabble, Jay Z’s sobering history lesson on the US war that began in the 1970s shows the staggeringly high number of black and Latina men at war for drugs in America—a country with the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Through illustration and narration, Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, breaks down the injustices of the domestic war, including the mistreatment of youths in low-income areas and the mandatory sentences for low level drug offences that have led to overcrowding in America jails.
Carter, who spent years as a drug dealer before becoming one of the most successful rappers in history, reveals that after more than forty years, the War on Drugs has done nothing to lower the number of drug users in America, instead creating a country that has gone from 200,000 to two million inmates.
The new project was inspired by Jay Z’s Decoded co-author, filmmaker Dream Hampton, who reached out to the Drug Policy Alliance in the US about working together. The timely video arrives just as the state of California prepares to vote in November on Prop 64, a bill that will reduce criminal penalties for marijuana offensives, including releasing and expunging the records of inmates currently serving sentences for low level marijuana offenses.
Check out Jay Z and Molly Crapabble’s incredible short “The War On Drugs Is An Epic Fail.”