By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Crack is wack and even though a lot of regressives say the same thing about Juelz "Human Crack in the Flesh" Santana, that has more to do with his poetic recklessness and Oulipian interest in repetition ("Like cowabunga dude!/This forty cali-caliber cowabunga you/Bump you like a bumper do") than his involvement in the corrosion of urban communities.
On rap's stage, crack can be as effective a prop in the pockets of a future business leader of America (Jigga), cartoon superdealer (Jeezy da Snowman), or black Dada nihilismus (Killa Cam) as it is in those of a responsible family man (our hero). So on What the Game's Been Missing!, Juelz distills cooked coke into a figure of pure potency often applied toward parenting. "I'm your rider, your guider, pusher, provider/ But most of all, I'm your father and I'm just looking out for you," he tells his son in "Daddy."
The demands of his chosen genre prevent nihil-core gangsta proclamations from being fully displaced by the primacy of parental duties. Instead, they are prefaced by instructions to put the kids to bed and oddly juxtaposed with family-first lines: "Leave bodies by cemeteries/He's forever buried/How? By any means necessary/ I'm here to promise to keep my vows in order/ I'm here to promise to keep my child in order."
Not a crack, baby: A birth birthed crack-rap's first crack parent. Juelz is nice like that.