Tuning in to TV: VH1 documentary examines hip-hop, cocaine link

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VH1 documentary examines hip-hop, cocaine link

VH1 is exploring the connection between hip-hop and cocaine.

According to the Associated Press, the network will air “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation” next month. It explores the development of crack cocaine in the urban community and features rappers Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, and Wu-Tang Clan members RZA and Raekwon.

The two-hour special will air at 10 p.m. on Sept. 18. It was executive produced by rapper-actor Ice-T, who also narrates the documentary.

“Planet Rock” is the latest documentary by VH1 Rock Doc, which recently earned an Emmy nomination for the special, “Soul Train: The Hippest Trip in America.”

‘Wire’ actress pleads guilty to drug charges

An actress who played a Baltimore drug gang assassin in HBO’s “The Wire” pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to distribute heroin, caught by a wiretap in a joint federal-state drug probe.

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, 31, pleaded guilty a day before her trial was set to begin, the Associated Press reports. Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill accepted the plea, suspending a seven-year sentence with credit for time served and ordering three years of supervised probation with provisions for out-of-state travel for work.

The plea allows Miss Pearson to move on with her acting career, instead of spending more than a year with charges hanging over her, attorney Benjamin C. Sutley said outside the courthouse.

“I can’t say she would have been found not guilty,” Mr. Sutley said. But Miss Pearson interrupted, saying, “I would have been found not guilty.”

Miss Pearson was one of 64 people charged in March in “Operation Usual Suspects.” The federal indictment states that since 2008, members of the conspiracy bought heroin from New York and marijuana from California and sold the drugs on the streets of Baltimore. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment alleges, members discussed how those who failed to perform required tasks were dealt with violently.

Miss Pearson was caught on a wiretap conspiring with Shawn Johnson and Jeff Gibbs, who bought heroin in bulk from New York and distributed the drugs in Baltimore, according to a statement of charges read aloud in court by prosecutor Rebecca Finn. Mr. Johnson paid Miss Pearson to store drugs and money, including drug proceeds, at her apartment in the city, Miss Finn said.

“The Wire,” which ran from 2002 to 2008, was filmed in Baltimore and put a spotlight on the city’s struggle with poverty and drug violence through the stories of the city’s police, drug organizations, schools, politicians and media. Miss Pearson’s character, which shares the nickname “Snoop,” knocks off several people for the fictitious Stanfield drug gang.

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