Should your art send you to prison?

Rap on trial

Kubrin presents research on rap music

Charis E. Kubrin, professor of criminology, law and society, explains her research on rap lyrics during this webinar, hosted by the University of Illinois.

Kubrin says that rap lyrics and videos are being introduced as evidence of a defendant's guilt in what she calls “rap on trial.” She presents examples of recent cases in which rap music has been used as evidence in trials against amateur rappers, almost all of whom are young men of color. She also discusses elements of rap music that leave it vulnerable to judicial abuse, and presents experimental research that examines how rap lyrics impact decision-making in the courtroom.