podcast·1 min read

Another Look at Rap Lyrics on Trial

May 31, 2022

A few weeks ago, rappers Young Thug, Gunna, and 26 of their YSL crew members were charged in a Georgia RICO case. And prosecutors are arguing that YSL is actually a criminal gang instead of a record label. 

One of the things they plan to use to prove that: Young Thug’s rap lyrics. 

Violent lyrics show up in a lot of music genres. But when it comes to rap and hip hop, it’s not unusual for those lyrics to be used in court as evidence to convict artists of crimes. But is it a violation of first amendment rights?

Today, we look back at the history of rap lyrics on trial, and talk to a media attorney about RICO cases and a New York bill that would make it harder for artists’ words to be used against them. 

Plus, what’s #Swedengate, why art museums had a bad weekend, and the two TV show premieres bringing us all the ’80s vibes. 

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