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Spitting Truth(s) to Power: Rap Music as Evidence of Racial Injustice

Thursday 30 May 2024, 12.30PM to 13.30pm

Speaker(s): Dr Lambros Fatsis (City, University of London)

Rap music is frequently admitted into court as incriminating ‘evidence’ that stereotypically
portrays defendants as ‘criminally minded’, ‘gang-affiliated’ desperadoes, whose creative
output becomes proof of their ‘bad character’. Writing against such racist mythologies that
(re)produce stereotypical associations between Black music genres and ‘criminality’, rap is
approached instead as an eloquent testimony of racial injustice that puts the legal-penal
system on the stand. Drawing on UK drill music as the latest rap subgenre to be targeted as
criminogenic, this talk outlines the carceral logics and tactics turn Black artistic expression
into a criminal offence—arguing that the performative violence in drill exposes the actual
violence with which it is suppressed, in ways that urge us to rethink our relationship with ‘the
law’ and ‘justice’ as critical scholars and citizens alike.

Book your tickets here via eventbrite

Location: Scheduled zoom meeting.

Admission: Free