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Activists Cry Racism As Prosecutors Take Criminal Confessions In Rap Songs Literally

Activists accused prosecutors of racism in using a rapper’s lyrics as evidence in a criminal charge, according to the Times.

Prosecutors use violent genre lyrics to identify criminal activity and intent against rappers, most of whom are black men. according to Times. According to the paper, activists accuse prosecutors of using only incriminating lyrics to criminalize young people without solid evidence. (Related: 45 gang members face federal charges as prosecutors seek to classify gang violence as organized crime)

Drill rap, a subgenre of rap that originated in Chicago in the early 2010s, has gained notoriety for its confrontational and explicit depictions of criminal activity, the paper noted. Abena Owusu-Bempah, an associate professor of criminal law at the London School of Economics, argues that prosecutors are using drill rap lyrics to unfairly target black men, but this is not true for others. This is a tactic that is not common in this form of music.

“No other form of art is used on a daily basis like this, and no other demographic routinely confuses creative expression with their personality,” she said.

Researchers at the University of Manchester have identified more than 72 cases in which drill lyrics were submitted as legal evidence, affecting more than 250 people over three years, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors used lyrics by American rapper Young Thug: evidence He filed a lawsuit against him alleging he conspired to violate the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), according to ABC News.

Young Slime Life (YSL) is an Atlanta-based gang that the rapper is said to be associated with and is mentioned in several of his songs. ABC noted that the rapper allegedly outlined various criminal activities in his lyrics, which prosecutors claim is evidence that the rapper co-founded the gang.

Young Thug’s attorney Brian Steele filed a motion It argued that the lyrics should not be used in criminal proceedings, ABC noted.

“[Lyrics] If it simply involves music/freedom of expression/freedom of speech/poetry, it cannot be used as evidence of a crime,” Steele said in the motion.

Since the blue city elected a progressive prosecutor, the city has seen a spike in crimes such as murder and theft in recent years.

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