Park Pictures

IndieWire: Rap Lyrics Criminalization Doc ‘As We Speak’ to Premiere on Paramount+

2024 January 24

Paramount+ will release J.M. Harper‘s documentary “As We Speak: Rap Music on Trial,” which debuted at Sundance, on its streaming platform on Tuesday, February 27 in the U.S. and Canada

Directed by J.M. Harper, “As We Speak” follows Bronx rap artist Kemba as he explores the growing weaponization of rap lyrics in the United States criminal justice system and abroad. For decades, prosecutors and law enforcement have used rap verses as evidence against them in criminal cases. Spanning back to the ’90s, the film uncovers over 700 criminal court cases that have used rap lyrics as evidence against defendants, many of them young Black men. The same would be virtually unthinkable with white artists singing country or rock songs.