On this page, you will find scholarly research related to rap on trial, including experimental studies which show the prejudicial impact of rap lyrics in criminal cases.

Rap Rhyme, Prison Time: How Prosecutors Use Rap Evidence in Gang Cases by Charis E. Kubrin, Kyle Winnen and Rebecca Rogers (2024)

Decriminalising Rap Beat by Beat: Two Questions in Search of Answers by Lambros Fatsis (2023)

The Irrelevance of Rap by Abenaa Owusu-Bempah (2022)

Policing the Beats: The Criminalisation of UK Drill and Grime Music by the London Metropolitan Police by Lambros Fatsis (2021)

When Music Takes the Stand: A Content Analysis of How Courts Use and Misuse Rap Lyrics in Criminal Cases by Erin Lutes, James Purdon, and Henry Fradella (2019)

Grime: Criminal Subculture or Public Counterculture? A Critical Investigation into the Criminalization of Black Musical Subcultures in the UK by Lambros Fatsis (2018)

Imagining Violent Criminals: An Experimental Investigation of Music Stereotypes and Character Judgments by Adam Dunbar and Charis E. Kubrin (2018)

Art or Confession? Evaluating Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Cases by Adam Dunbar (2018)

Rap Lyrics as Evidence: What Can Music Theory Tell Us? by Nicholas Stoia, Kyle Adams, and Kevin Drakulich (2016)

The Threatening Nature of “Rap Music” by Adam Dunbar, Charis E. Kubrin, and Nicholas Scurich (2016)

Rapping Honestly: NaS, Nietzsche, and the Moral Prejudices of Truth by Mukasa Mubirumusoke (2016)

R. v. Campbell: Rethinking the Admissibility of Rap Lyrics in Criminal Cases by David M. Tanovich (2016)

Rap Music and the True Threats Quagmire: When Does One Man’s Lyric Become Another’s Crime? by Clay Calvert et al. (2015)

Rap as Threat? The Violent Translation of Music in American Law by Lily E. Hirsch (2014)

Rap on Trial by Charis E. Kubrin and Erik Nielson (2014)

Poetic (In)Justice? Rap Music Lyrics as Art, Life, and Criminal Evidence by Andrea Dennis (2007)

The Freedom to Speak and the Freedom to Listen: The Admissibility of the Criminal Defendants Taste in Entertainment by Helen A. Anderson (2004)

Gangsta’ Rap and a Murder in Bakersfield by Stuart P. Fischoff (1999)

Who’s Afraid of Rap: Differential Reactions to Music Lyrics by Carrie B. Fried (1999)

Bad Rap for Rap: Bias in Reactions to Music Lyrics by Carrie B. Fried (1996)