White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)  

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"In 1983 Grandmaster Melle Mel releases "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)", copying the bassline of "Cavern". 99 Records sues Sugar Hill Records for the similarities. However, when Sugar Hill is ordered to pay $660,000 in damages, it declares bankruptcy shortly after." --Sholem Stein

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"White Lines (Don't Do It)" is a song by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, released as a 12" in 1983 on Sugar Hill Records. The song, which warns against the dangers of cocaine, addiction, and drug smuggling, is one of Melle Mel's signature tracks. The instantly recognizable bassline is sampled from a performance of the Sugar Hill house band playing Liquid Liquid's "Cavern". When originally released it was credited to Grandmaster + Melle Mel. This was done to mislead the public into believing that Grandmaster Flash participated on the record, when in fact he played no part and had already left the record label the previous year .

"White Lines" peaked at #47 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in 1983. The song fared better in the United Kingdom, reaching number 7 on the UK Singles Chart in July of 1984, spending nearly an entire year in the top 75, (and number 13 in the UK's top 50 songs of the year).

The unofficial music video was directed by New York University film student Spike Lee and starred Laurence Fishburne.

For some reason, in 1988, the song was used as part of an anti-heroin public information film in the UK.


The song "White Lines" has been sampled in many other songs, including:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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