The prosecution in an Atlanta trial intends to use the defendant’s rap music as evidence of their guilt. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
Two rap artists are currently in prison, awaiting trial in an Atlanta case for armed robbery and murder. Among evidence in the indictment are lyrics and videos of their music. This isn’t the first case that has sought to introduce rap lyrics to prove the artist was speaking about actual crimes he committed. In fact, the Maryland court ruled in 2019 that rap lyrics could be used as evidence of a defendant’s guilt.
But not everyone agrees they should be. The New York State Senate just passed a bill known as the “Rap Music on Trial” bill, that would require the prosecutors to prove that the lyrics are literal rather than just artistic fiction, before they can be used in trial for fear of prejudicing the jury. We’ll see whether the two rappers on trial are found guilty, and what lawmakers say about whether their music should play a role in that decision.