Crack, a Tiffany Drug at Woolworth Prices: SPIN’s 1986 Feature | SPIN
In the late fall of 1985, one of my editors, Rudy Langlais, came to me and said he had a remarkable young writer, Barry Michael Cooper, who was black and living in Harlem, and had an incredible story about a new, cheap, readily accessible drug circulating the ghetto. It was a supercharged form of cocaine, called crack, and no one had reported on this yet. No one had even heard of it "downtown" (i.e. the entire rest of the world south of 110th street in NYC). When the story came in it was so well written and reported, and so alien from anything I had heard of, that I feared the writer made it up. The story was too good, too intact, too many colorful characters, too much dramatic, instant devastation. Lives, families, an entire community, were being shredded in weeks, not the years usually associated with drug addiction. People were selling their furniture, and themselves, for their next hit. It didn't seem real. I called a close friend, Bo Dietl, who was a detective in the 25th

so much to say about this.

Crack was a circuit breaker in the psychic fuse box of African-American advancement. Crack rewired the motherboard of the descendants of the Motherland, reprogramming them into the 20th century slaves of a new pharm-land, where the cash crops of cooked cocaine had been reaped from the infertility of their very own hopes and dreams. Crack cocaine vaporized the ‘80s into a stagnant era odorized with the acrid, postmortem stank of aborted and unfulfilled wishes.

Barry Michael Cooper

New Jack City Eats Its Young