Podcast·1 min read

Why is Rap Music Still on Trial?

February 1, 2022

When Carrie Underwood sings about taking a Louisville slugger to the headlights of a cheating ex’s car, does anybody assume she actually did it? What about when Johnny Cash said he shot a man in Reno? 

Violent lyrics show up in a lot of music. But when it comes to rap and hip hop, it’s not unusual for those lyrics to show up in court. Prosecutors continue to use them as evidence to convict artists of crimes. A bill in New York, which has the backing of Jay-Z, Killer Mike and other rappers, would make it harder for artists’ words to be used against them in a criminal case. We take a look at the history of rap lyrics on trial, and talk to a media attorney about what would change under the new law. 

Then, we throw it back to the early aughts with 2000s queen Christina Milian, who joined us for a game of “This or That.” See if you can guess what trends she’d bring back.

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