Hip-Hop Now

Bobby Shmurda Speaks On Rap Music On Trial Bill & YSL Indictment

Hip-hop is facing an extraordinary amount of scrutiny these days. Despite being the most consumed genre in the world, many rappers are on trial for their lyrics. This isn’t anything new but it’s disturbing how frequently prosecutors and law officials attempt to use song lyrics as admissions of guilt.

Though Bobby Shmurda’s lyrics weren’t used as evidence during his trial, the head of the NYPD said his breakout record “Hot N***a” was “almost like a real-life document of what they were doing on the street.” And while he’s a free man these days, he’s witnessing many of his peers face similar scrutiny for artistic expression.


We recently caught up with Bobby Shmurda after New York state passed the “Rap Music On Trial” law which makes it extremely difficult for prosecutors to use song lyrics as evidence in court. The rapper explained that it’s a necessary move in the state of New York but he reiterated that we need to see similar laws passed across the country.

When they try and do that sh*t in the state, I be like ‘yo, they can’t do that sh*t in the state.’ I’m telling my lawyer and he like, ‘yo, they could put it in there but the judge [has the right to decline using it if] they don’t want to.’ So now they can’t use it,” he explained. “The feds can’t use it, the state can’t use it. So, it’s good in New York but that sh*t need to happen all over the country.” 

Shmurda cites artists like Kay Flock who are facing serious legal repercussions while officials attempt to present lyrics as confessions of crimes. Still, Shmurda says that up-and-coming artists should still be mindful of what they’re saying on wax, even if there are more hurdles for lyrics to be used in court.

“Now listen, just because they passed the f*cking law guys, do not go on the f*cking record talking about you just shot Johnny in his face. Please guys, please guys,” he says in between laughs. “Do not go saying some dumb sh*t. But you can express yourself. Express stories better. But don’t do not do anything like, ‘I just shot Johnny in his face.’ Like, what the f*ck, bro? Be mindful still, I feel. Still be mindful.”

Young Thug, Gunna, and YSL are currently incarcerated on RICO charges and the prosecutors have used several lyrics from their catalog to indict them. The twist of irony is that Thug was among those championing Bobby during his time away, and even promised to gift both Rowdy and Bobby new chains for their loyalty. While Bobby admits that he and Thug didn’t have a relationship until after he was released, he revealed that he has reached out to him. 

We ain’t get a relationship ‘til after,” he said. “I checked on him because you know, I know the gang. The gang from A too. He from that, yeah.” Still, Bobby considers Young Thug’s support as one of the reasons why he began taking his rap career more seriously.

That’s when I took rap seriously. Before, I ain’t care about no music. I was like ‘yo, mothaf*ckas fake, get your a*s outta here’ but then I found out it is real people.,” he explained.

Check out our cover story with Bobby Shmurda here. 



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