Origins of Hip-Hop


The High

Season 1, Ep. 4

Mind-altering substances have always had an influence on popular culture and music, but for hip-hop it wasn’t just in the music. In the late ‘70s and ‘80s drugs were in communities and homes all around the city. As the epidemic tore through the Bronx, hip-hop was an escape and way for people to tell their stories. In this episode Caz invites scholar and author Jeff Chang to talk about the role drugs have played in hip-hop music and culture in the Bronx, walking us through the evolution of substance use and hip-hop through time. Legendary MC Busy Bee and Sha Rock return to talk about their personal experiences and how they rose above and beyond the strife with hip-hop at their side.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse or a mental health disorder, call the SAMHSA National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit for free, confidential treatment referral and information, 24/7

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