Rap Lyrics on Trial Are Altering Careers of A-List Rappers

Moment of Truth
Since its early days, rap lyrics have been used by prosecutors to build narratives with criminal trials. With the genre’s popularity booming, this trend continues to affect aspiring artists and A-list rappers alike more than ever.
Words: Grant Rindner
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands soon.

“Ready for war like I’m Russia” is an evocative simile. It’s politically salient and instantly understandable, if a little trite, but is it “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy?” That’s what prosecutors are attempting to prove in the highly visible RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) case against Young Thug and members of the rapper’s

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