The rap genre is akin to storytelling, portraying situations that have happened in real life or are fictional and exaggerated to create a relatable verse. Rap music is often a representation of street culture, with glorified situations of real experiences either of the rappers themselves or somebody they know.
While rap lyrics can be entirely fictional, they still have the tendency of having factual consequences in real life.
Rap Lyrics are Admissible as Evidence
Because rap lyrics are so narrative, law enforcement has an interest in looking into them to uncover pieces of evidence they can use against the accused. Especially if they have a weak case, a seemingly trivial verse or chorus can be used to provide important information about the crime or offense that is charged — especially if the lyrics narrate stark similarities with the facts of the case.
It has happened in the past where a young man was convicted for murder because of rap lyrics he wrote that had eery similarities with his criminal case. Judges have become more open to admitting rap lyrics into evidence and using them against the defendants in a criminal trial.
More and More Courts Using Rap Lyrics in Criminal Cases
While there is such a thing as artistic freedom, artists should still consider how their “fake” lyrics can have factual repercussions. This is especially true if the lyrics portray real-life circumstances that are similar to the facts of their criminal cases.
While this piece of advice should not be construed as hindering artistic expression, it is a warning for artists to be more careful as more and more of these rap lyrics are being admitted into court as evidence for real crimes.