Should Rappers’ Lyrics Be Used Against Them in Court? Bun B Weighs In (Video)
Part of what makes Bun B the Trill O.G. is his complete, actualized evolution in Hip-Hop. Heads know that a simple listen to the Super Tight album shows that Bun, and his late UGK co-founder and partner Pimp C were some of the coldest MCs out, on shocking subject matter. Twenty years later, and Bun is a celebrated voice, trusted to teach higher education students at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Now, Bun may even run for mayor in H-Town.
With that kind of range, Bun never shies away from his early lyrics, or the life that inspired them. Who better then, to touch on this growing question if whether or not lyrics can be used as testimony or evidence in a court of law? The New Jersey Supreme Court is currently on the precipice of using lyrics in a trial surrounding a 2005 shooting and a subsequently overturned ruling. That ruling was subsequently appealed, and raises the current question, teased out by MSNBC.
Previously, lyrics have been used in cases in Nevada and Oregon. In the latter, Sacramento, California rapper and 2Pac affiliate C-Bo was arrested of a parole violation involving lyrics discussing his previous arrest and conviction.
Bun explains: “As an artist, I want to be free to speak my mind, my opinions, my outlook on the world. If I’m speaking in hate against people, then that’s a different issue. If I’m just expressing my view points about different things I see in society, different things I see going on in the World, then I don’t see why there should be an issue with me expressing that view point. We see it in all forms of music, not just Rap music. So why shouldn’t we be able to speak our minds?”
With violence in the streets and a lot of reality making its way into music of all kinds, where do you stand on this issue?
If this were the case previously, would artists like 2Pac, 50 Cent, or the Geto Boys be who they are today?