NA-BM186_CRACK_G_20110630153622Written By: Matt Pulver

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The history of rap, and indeed the history of a generation, underwent an irrevocable shift when the introduction of crack metastasized into a full-fledged epidemic. The admonitions of Melle Mel (“Don’t do it!”) and the righteous anti-crack rage of Public Enemy (“Night of the Living Baseheads”) eventually gave way to a certain glorification of the crack culture, at least on the sales and distribution end. Eric B. and Rakim’s “…make ‘em clap to this” in 1987 is rendered a decade later into Master P’s “M-m-m-m-make crack like this.” The ambiguous paranoia of the Geto Boys’ “My Mind’s Playing Tricks on Me” hardened into unabashed celebration of the hustler in just a few short years. Maybe Biggie said it best: “Things done changed.”