Today on the internet, there is an interview with Erik Nielson, a professor of literature and hip-hop at the University of Richmond, on the subject of rap lyrics being used against young men of color in criminal trials across the country. Nielson has written about the phenomenon and has served as an expert witness for defense attorneys hoping to convince juries that their clients are not violent criminals based on lyrics they may or may not have rapped.
Caleb Mason, an associate professor of law at Southwestern University, has done us all a service by producing, in a paper for the Saint Louis University Law Journal, the most thorough legal reading of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" yet. The upshot? Jay-Z mostly gets it right, except for one glaring omission. Some highlights: