Rap Music As An Art Form

1295 Words Feb 13th, 2015 6 Pages
I. Introduction

“Rather than treat rap music as an art form whose primary purpose is to entertain, prosecutors have become adept at convincing judges and juries alike that the lyrics are either autobiographical confessions of illegal behavior or evidence of a defendant’s knowledge, motive, or identity with respect to the alleged crime” (Nielson and Kubrin 1). Recently, prosecutors have been using rap lyrics as evidence in a criminal case. Rap, a form of hip-hop, originated in the 1970’s in New York. It remained a “ghetto secret” until the 1979 song “Rapper’s Delight” spread its popularity throughout the world (Nielson and Kubrin 2). Later, in the late 1980’s to early 1990’s, rappers began targeting flaws and imbalances within the society, recognized as the “golden age” of rap by most scholars (Nielson and Kubrin 3). However, in the mid-1990’s, record companies that thought that sex and violence would be most profitable began pressuring rappers to sing about sex and violence, generally gangsta rap, with lyrics that lacked the foresight or political flaws that were characterized by the “golden age” (Nielson and Kubrin 3). According to Alexander Bey, rap types such as gangsta and hardcore are generally the one being used on a criminal case as a way to convince the judge and jury that the lyrics are confessions of what the accused did with the other bodies of evidence, as well as being used to locate potential criminals by performing further searches for signs of illegal…

More about Rap Music As An Art Form

Open Document