[Alan] Jackson, who investigated gangs as a prosecutor, said such lyrics can be useful in building a case, because the search for status — attaining it, crowing about it, expanding it — is integral to gang life. “If you listened to the songs,” he said, “you would literally hear gang members confessing to crimes they had committed previously and were disseminating it within the neighborhood.”...People often say things that aren't true. The issue on any given statement — whether in the form of a rap lyric or something else — is whether it has enough probative value compared to how unfairly prejudicial it is. If the prosecutor is mostly trying to make the defendant seem to be a disreputable person, that's quite different from, say, lyrics with details about the crime charged.
Critics like Andrea L. Dennis, an associate professor of law at the University of Georgia, say law enforcement ignores the fact that rappers do not necessarily live the lives they sing about.
March 27, 2014
"And law enforcement took note...."