Top Rap Stars Line Up To Support Mayhem Mal In Supreme Court Case Over Lyrics
(AllHipHop News) Chance the Rapper and 21 Savage have served up a primer for America's Supreme Court judges in the hope it will help them serve up fairer sentences for rappers.
The rap coalition, led by Killer Mike, has filed a brief on behalf of Jamal Knox, aka Mayhem Mal, who was sentenced to two-to-six years behind bars in 2014 for issuing "terroristic threats and intimidating witnesses."
The prison term stemmed from a song titled "F##k The Police" following his arrest for illegal gun and drug possession charges when he was 19.
The case has made its way to the Supreme Court, because Knox's lawyers feel his First Amendment rights are being violated.
The primer offers up a potted history of hip-hop and notes certain words, lyrics and vernacular that the judges might find helpful.
Meek Mill and Fat Joe also contributed to Killer Mike's brief, which reads in part: "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.
"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."