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Jay Z: The War On Drugs Is An 'Epic Fail'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Jay Z has declared the war on drugs an "epic fail'' in a short film he wrote and narrated.

The four-minute clip posted online by The New York Times Opinion section on Thursday features Jay Z -- also known as Shawn Carter -- narrating over an artist Molly Crabapple's illustrations.

In the video, he complains "young men like me who hustled became the sole villain'' when strict drug laws were introduced in the 1980s.

"The NYPD raided our Brooklyn neighborhoods while the Manhattan bankers openly used coke with impunity," Jay Z says in the film.

The Brooklyn native has frequently rapped about his past as a crack dealer.

"People are finally talking about treating addiction to harder drugs as a health crisis, but there's no compassionate language about drug dealers," Jay Z said.

He also suggests treatment of drug dealers is hypocritical given that states like Colorado have legalized marijuana. He also blames mandatory minimum sentences in part for the sharp rise in the U.S. prison population.

Earlier this year, Jay Z was put into the spotlight upon the release of his song "Spiritual," in response to the fatal police shootings of two black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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