Erik Nielson and Charis E. Kubrin, writing for The New York Times, have published an article that looks at a New Jersey Supreme Court case that will determine if rap lyrics can be used as evidence of a crime.
More than a decade later, this bias appears to persist, leaving rap music as vulnerable as ever to judicial abuse. Although appellate courts in Massachusetts and Maryland have recently reversed convictions after citing prosecutors for their improper use of rap lyrics or videos as evidence, most similar appeals are unsuccessful. Just this summer the Supreme Court of Nevada upheld the admissibility of rap lyrics as evidence in a first-degree murder case. A definitive ruling by the Supreme Court of New Jersey rejecting this use of rap music could help turn the tide.