When it comes to rap, where does artistic licence end and confession begin? According to prosecutors in at least 30 cases from the last decade, it starts when the artist is charged with a crime and the lyrics are parsed for clues to a case or for proof of bad character.
Many of these defendants are convicted of their crimes, but should their music be a permissible tool? What is the threshold? And does the practice intentionally or unintentionally tap into the unconscious biases of jurors with the fate of young black and indigenous men in their hands?
This roundtable discussion on the inclusion of rap as criminal evidence brings together three experts: University of California, Irvine criminologist Adam Dunbar, University of Toronto sociologist Jooyoung Lee, and lawyer Hilary Dudding, whose case, R. v. Campbell, could effect future trials in Canada.
They join guest host Omar Mouallem for the episode.