Should Rap Lyrics Be Used in Criminal Trials?

Categories: Hip-Hop

Obviously, as rappers like Eminem, Nicki Minaj and Tyler, the Creator demonstrate, what you see or hear is not always what you get with Marshall Mathers, Onika Maraj and Tyler Okonma. If Eminem were somehow accused of a serial killing spree, and the prosecution played "3 A.M." and the rest of his colorful catalog to the jury, the jury might think they're getting Marshall Mathers, as a whole, when they're actually getting Slim Shady at a specific time, in a specific place, after eating a specific food. To recontextualize any form of artistic expression in order to assassinate the character of an artist is not only not reliable, it's irresponsible.

That said, there are other cases where lyrics may play a more specific role in prosecution: A 2011 trial featured two aspiring rappers who allegedly stabbed and killed another man. They had written poems and songs specifically about that incident. There are also instances of police departments using music and videos to gain information about gangs.The constitution protects speech from congress; it does not protect you from your words.

Immoral activity should stain a person's character, not the artistic reflection thereof. There is a story behind every murderer, but there is not a murderer behind every story.

RFT MUSIC'S GREATEST HITS

The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever
"Where Did My Dick Go?" The Gathering of the Juggalos' Best Overheard Quotations
I Pissed Off Megadeth This Week, My (Former) Favorite Band
The Top Ten Ways to Piss Off Your Bartender at a Music Venue



My Voice Nation Help
27 comments
Cody Bippen
Cody Bippen

That's creative content, man. Using it against them is unjust.

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

leave it to mtv to guide our children

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

lol exactly. responsibility has nothing to do with influence though. you can be influenced to be irresponsible, or influenced to have a certain opinion. and the lack of parenting means EVEN MORE influence from media and icons in pop culture, how old are you anyway? because i am 18 and have experienced this shit in school first hand

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Matt Burkey, that's called atmosphere and lack of parenting. Responsibility for self is keyword. No worries on them running the country because they will have absolutely no interest....

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

you have a right to your opinion, but when i see kids with baggy pants, talking like godamn neanderthals with their illiterate slang, selling drugs, no values for life other then sex money and drugs, it makes me concerned for the future of america, these are the people that will be running the country one day

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

so lil wayne doesnt actually drink sizzurp?

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Matt Burkey, I grew up in the hood, listened to rap, amongst a few other genres, and nothing idiotic, wanna be or hoodrat here. It's personal choice to act a fool or stay acting right.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Nope! Most of these rappers don't write their own stuff, nor do they come from the hood. It's ENTERTAINMENT and criminals need to learn to take responsibility for their OWN actions.

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

not a fan of rap at all, and my personal opinion is that its had a huge negative influence on young america, ive seen my own generation turn into complete idiots, wanna be gangsters and hoodrats. It's pretty pathetic

Matt Burkey
Matt Burkey

You have a really good point, but nowadays most artist practice what they preach

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

The answer is obviously no....unless it can be proven to have really happened. Then, yeah, don't be stupid and tell your business for the whole world to hear.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

"I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy..." Bob Marley is in big trouble...lol

Chris DiMercurio
Chris DiMercurio

Only if you did the same to video game programmers and movie executives.

Jamie Van
Jamie Van

No. Many times, violent lyrics is just posturing.

Eric Jacobs
Eric Jacobs

No cause then they could do the same to a movie star for a role

Marc Seleman
Marc Seleman

Only if the rapper was on trial. Not someone else.

Lance Lingle
Lance Lingle

Lyrics don't kill people, people kill people.

Norma Cole Sosko
Norma Cole Sosko

No. Dumb. Music doesn't make you commit a crime! Ppl choose to commit crime. A gun kills because some idiot chooses to shoot another person.

Chris Ward
Chris Ward

That would be like using "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die" in an attempted murder case against Johnny Cash. Ridiculous. This isn't even up for debate.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...