2 To understand the criminal-turned-businessman metaphor, it is helpful also to recall the 2014 collaboration between Pusha T and Adidas on a “Black Market” sneaker described by some in media as “a crack colored tribute to the rapper’s hustling past.” Pusha ran to the interpretations, not from them, responding to GQ’s question about the inspiration: “Yeah I mean everything—the fish scale nuances, the cracked leather, everything—is inspired by street culture because I feel like I’m synonymous with that. Even the gum sole and the measuring line on the sole relates to that.”
3 Thomas H. Pauly, “The Criminal as Culture,” American Literary History 9, no. 4 (December 1997): 776.
4 Andrew Sarris, “Big Funerals: The Hollywood Gangster, 1927–1933,” Film Comment 13, no. 3 (May/June 1977): 6–9.
5 Sarris, 6–7.
6 Daniel Bell, “Crime as an American Way of Life,” Antioch Review 13, no. 2 (Summer 1953): 131–54.
7 Bell, 133.
8 Bell, 133.
9 Bell, 136.
10 Rufus Schatzberg and Robert J. Kelly, African American Organized Crime: A Social History (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1997), 91.
11 Ivan Light, “Numbers Gambling among Blacks: A Financial Institution,” American Sociological Review 42 (December 1977): 898.
12 Bell, 137.
13 Mary Hanbury, “Rapper Pusha T Is Slamming Drake in a Feud That Should Thrill Adidas,” Business Insider, June 6, 2018.
14 Iceberg Slim, Pimp: The Story of My Life (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1967).
15 Iceberg Slim, Trick Baby (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1967); Mama Black Widow (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1969); The Naked Soul of Iceberg Slim (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1971); The Long White Con (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1977); and Death Wish (Los Angeles: Holloway House, 1977).
16 Ivan Light, “The Ethnic Vice Industry, 1880–1944,” American Sociological Review 42 (June 1977): 464–79.
17 Light, 468–69.
18 Schatzberg and Kelly, 9–10.
19 Emilio T. González, “The Cuban Connection: Drug Trafficking and the Castro Regime,” Cuban Studies Association Occasional Papers 7 (1997).
20 As historian Neal Gabler, in describing the acting career of Muni Weisenfreund (who became Paul Muni), in his book (which became A&E documentary series) An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood wrote: “He came to Hollywood in 1929 and quickly won an Oscar nomination, but after a second film he returned to the stage. When he came back to Hollywood, starring in Scarface as a knockoff of Al Capone and in I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, and later as a Frenchman in The Story of Louis Pasteur, a Chinese in The Good Earth, and a Mexican in Juarez, he assumed stature as one of Hollywood’s most distinguished actors. At the same time his career became a paradigm for the tortured identity of the actor Jew in Hollywood – always dressed in someone else’s ethnicity.”
21 Bell, 145–46.
22 Daryl Nelson, “T.I. Explains Why He’s Buying Back His Old Neighborhood: ‘No Fresh Produce, Liquor Stores,’” Atlanta Black Star, July 3, 2018.
23 Gertrude Robinson, “Music and Crime,” Journal of Education 89 (May 1919): 485.