Rap on Trial: Is it a Crime to Rhyme?

11/15/2018; 5 minutes

Should your art send you to prison? Rap lyrics are increasingly turning up as evidence in courtrooms across the country. The fictional characters portrayed in violent gansta rap songs are often a far cry from the true personalities of the artists behind them, yet uninitiated audiences easily conflate artist with character and fiction with fact. On a broader scale, using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases also raises questions about artistic freedom, freedom of speech and the rights of all citizens to receive a fair trial. UC Irvines Charis E. Kubrin, Ph.D and Adam Dunbar explore these issues. (#31368)

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