The criminalization of rap music is a certified epidemic in America. With highly publicized cases of police brutality dominating news headlines, a shaky justice system is defending itself by attempting to shift the blame towards rap.
Take the case of McKinley “Mac” Phipps, a rapper whose lyrics were reordered, manipulated, and used against him in court. He was eventually convicted and now sits in prison, attempting to win a new trial after allegations of witness bullying came to light. It’s that kind of ingrown close mindedness that Run The Jewels and Killer Mike are out to obliterate.
Mike visited HuffPost Live today to discuss rap’s criminalization. “Jim Crow is very much alive,” he said. “In this country, we love the nostalgic stories of how far we’ve come, transforming race relations and women’s suffrage. But we have not.”
He explains that country music and southern rock is just as dark as violent as rap, if not more so. But “because the people that are often times at the prosecutor’s table align themselves with that kind of music, they don’t see the problem.”
To borrow Mike’s words, “it is wrong, it is evil, and it is systemic.” The Atlanta rapper is doing all he can to start these discussions and raise awareness of how far we still have to go in the American justice system. He is also, of course, an incredible speaker. Watch the clip above and look out for Mike’s fanboy moment (he loves Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez) at the end of the interview.