The hip hop community is watching as Young Thug and five YSL co-defendants stand trial for a federal RICO case in Atlanta, Georgia. The highly publicized case, which began with opening statements two weeks ago, has been a catalyst for debates about rappers’ music being used against them as evidence in a court of law.
Scores of artists, such as Fat Joe, who recently claimed that 95% of his raps are fabricated, have argued that lyrics are not always representative of an artist’s real life. Sheek Louch and Styles P of The LOX joined the ongoing discourse about hip hop being skewered by the justice system during a recent “The Breakfast Club” appearance.
The revered Yonkers lyricists first broached the conversation by noting that Joe made a valid point when saying that music is a form of entertainment. “All the lyrics should not be used in court and all that because we are entertainers. We are like making stuff up here and there, you know. Especially as you get older,” said Louch.
Styles pointedly called out the double standard that rap faces, noting that other genres do not face the same scrutiny. “R&B singers is lying in 95% of their songs. Country singers are lying. Country may be harder than rap. You ever listen to country music? They be saying some gangster s**t,” he said.
The Farmacy For Life proprietor continued, “I think the problem is [that] with anything that’s cultural, in Black or brown, where it’s created… we get put on a pedestal different than the whole world, and it’s like its own set of rules, which is really sort of unfair. It is a fine line you have to walk being an artist, but you are, at the end of the day, an artist. Like, I think that people seem to forget that, but I think that with all of the things that happen within the Black and the brown communities, that people tend to put you on a pedestal that they want you on. And then when you don’t live up to it, that kind of upsets them.”
Piggybacking on Joe’s comments regarding the lack of condemnation in other facets of the entertainment industry, Styles noted that other creatives seem to have a veil of immunity, shielding their work from being used as proof of any wrongdoing.
“They never say anything to the actors [or] directors. They never even say nothin’ to the record labels who are putting out the artists. They never say nothin’ to the radio station. They never say nothin’ to the magazines,” he declared. “But you’re gonna hold a poor kid from the ghetto responsible for trying to make it doing what he knows is [a] popular genre. And America loves violence. The s**t is built off of violence.”
Click to watch the full interview below.