killer-mike-21-savage-more-file-brief-supreme-court-brief-hip-hop-1552001372
Getty Images

Killer Mike, 21 Savage, And More File Brief Educating Supreme Court On Hip-Hop Music

"Viewing the lyrics in their proper context is vital."

A colaition of rappers has reportedly banded together to file a brief that seeks to educate the Supreme Court on the history of hip-hop music and how to interpret certain lyrics, The New York Times reports. The brief or "primer" as it is being referred to, hopes to provide context to hip-hop music in order to protect artists from legal biases.

The group is reportedly headed by Killer Mike and includes contributions from 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Chance the Rapper, Styles P, Fat Joe and Yo Gotti. "Viewing the lyrics in their proper context is vital. Like all poets, rappers use figurative language, relying on a full range of literary devices such as simile and metaphor," the brief reads. "Rappers also, in the tradition of African American vernacular, invent new words, invert the meaning of others, and lace their lyrics with dense slang and coded references that defy easy interpretation, especially among listeners unfamiliar with the genre... Furthermore, rappers famously rely on exaggeration and hyperbole as they craft the larger-than-life characters that have entertained fans (and offended critics) for decades."

The brief stems from the 2014 case of Jamal Knox aka Mayhem Mal , a 19-year-old rapper who was sentenced to two to six years in prison for  issuing "terroristic threats and intimidating witnesses." The court cited his song "F**k the Police" in his initial case. The case was later sent to the Supreme Court after Knox's lawyers argued the ruling was a violation of their client's First Amendment rights. In addition to educating the Supreme Court, the coalition hopes to help in appealing Knox's case.

Knox isn't the only rapper who has been targeted or allegedly discriminated against due to their lyrics however. Meek Mill's lyrics were initially cited in his case regarding his probation violation case. Additionally, 21 Savage claimed his lyrics and music persona contributed to his arrest by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) earlier this year.

Hopefully this brief will bring more clarity about hip-hop to the Supreme Court.  Read the full brief here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Nicholas Hunt

Lil Wayne's 1999 Rap Notebook Is On Sale For $250K

If you have $250,000 laying around and fancy yourself a Lil Wayne fan then you can own his rap notebook from 1999.

Weezy was about 17 years old and part of the beloved rap group the Hot Boys when he penned his lyrics for songs "We On Fire" and "I Feel."

The owner of the notebook told TMZ he found it inside a car once owned by Cash Money. As a dealership employee, he rummaged through the backseat and located the prized possession.

Photos of the notebook show water damage, which the owner said was nearly destroyed during Hurricane Katrina.

The notebook was stored in a box in his garage and when the Category 5 storm hit, he evacuated. When he returned much of his belongings were destroyed except for the book. Moments In Time will reportedly handle the sale of the rare find.

Moments In Time has sold several hip-hop artifacts. In 2017, the company sold three pages in which the beloved rapper penned the lyrics to his classic "Dear Mama." Each page priced at $25,000. The company also sold the vehicles Biggie and Pac were killed in.

Weird flex, but okay.

 

Continue Reading
Prince Williams

Keri Hilson Says New Music Is Coming Summer 2019

Keri Hilson is making a comeback. After a lengthy hiatus, the singer announced that she will be releasing new music this summer 2019.

Hilson shared the exciting news with her fans on Instagram on Sunday (Mar. 24). "Today marks 10 years since the release of my first studio album, 'In A Perfect World,'" she wrote in the caption of a photo herself. "I didn’t mean to be gone so long, I only needed my real world to be perfect...It is now. Thank you for your patience. The wait is over. I’m ready. Summer 2019."

It's definitely been a long time coming for Keri. In Feb. 2019, the singer explained her absence from the music scene, attributing it to mental health concerns. "I've lost some pivotal characters in the process of stepping away for my wellbeing," she said at the time. "Though I was prepared for the possibility that some wouldn't understand or lose faith in me as an artist while I dealt with the trials of my life, it still hurts. But I accept the fact that some relationships have just run their course."

It's unclear whether Hilson will be coming out with a single or a full LP at this time. Stay tuned for more announcements in the months to come.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Today marks 10 years since the release of my first studio album, “In A Perfect World...” I didn’t mean to be gone so long, I only needed my real world to be perfect...it is now. Thank you for your patience. The wait is over. I’m ready. Summer 2019.

A post shared by keri hilson (@kerihilson) on Mar 24, 2019 at 3:21pm PDT

Continue Reading
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin

Dr. Dre Promptly Deletes IG Post Bragging About Daughter's USC Admission

Dr. Dre thought he was sharing a "Proud Dad" moment on Instagram when he posted about his daughter getting accepted into the University of Southern California, but instead, he wound up the center of social media attack.

The tech mogul's deleted post reportedly bragged about his daughter Truly Young being admitted to the university "on her own," which was a subtle joke referencing the alleged college admissions bribery scandal. "My daughter got accepted into USC all on her own," he joked. "No jail time!!!"

The college admissions bribery scandal accused a number of parents of paying more than $25 million to a fake college admissions counselor to bribe college officials and inflate test scores.

While Dr. Dre was not one of the parents named in the court case, fans reminded him that he donated a whopping $70 million to USC. The donation was made in partnership with producer Jimmy Iovine in 2013 to create the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation.

Dr. may have deleted the post, but the damage was already done. Check out a screenshot of his post below.

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1109637108820373504

Continue Reading

Top Stories