New York Times

It’s A Rap

Sketch of a Courtroom- Creative Commons

Sketch of a Courtroom- Creative Commons

“It’s a rap” is a common phrase used when something is finished. “It’s a rap song” is my take on a recent New York Times opinion article that claims rap lyrics can be used on trail to convince a jury a man is guilty. The article talks about how some courts in the US have been using rap lyrics as evidence of a crime to prosecute rappers. Lawyers claim rap songs are confessions, especially when an artist talks about doing something like shooting someone then actually does it.

Something tells me there is a first amendment freedom of speech issue here. Can courts really do this?

Well, they have, and unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about rap. Some artists use an aggressive tone of voice and use language that they don’t always mean literally. Sometimes they use a choice word figuratively because it is another way of finishing a rhyming clause. That is a beauty and downfall of rap, utilizing figure of speech, word play, and synonyms.

These rapping tactics, however, also expose raps flaws. As a PR representative their is almost no way to truly defend your artist if they talk about brutal and gruesome scenes of violence other than saying, “chill, it’s just song.”

One of the best traits artists can have is to be transparent with their audience and fans. To a certain extent, when an artist sells his or her music it is because they sell their self well too.

If the artist is a company and the music they make is a product, you will only buy the product if you trust the company that manufactures it. In this case, if an artist has a PR representative and your artist decides to talk about killing someone, then that is the product your artist is selling and today it could potentially get your artist in major trouble with the US court of law. Then, it will be a rap for your artists career.

Why Award Shows Can Be The Ultimate Platform For PR

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore - Creative Commons

Ryan Lewis & Macklemore – Creative Commons

Sunday night was all about the Grammy’s. Right?

Wrong.

Before the show, the New York Times announced that that during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ performance 34 weddings, gay and straight, would take place during the performance of the song “Same Love” that talks about the difficulties of being gay.

The buzz after the award show wasn’t about who took home what Grammy. It was related to the PR campaign that Macklemore & Ryan Lewis created and that the producers of the Grammy’s approved. They used the Grammy’s as a platform to raise awareness for equality. Raising awareness is constantly one of the main PR objectives of any PR campaign. Well the Grammy producers just nailed it.

They used one of the most recognized award shows on one of the most utilized media platforms to demonstrate one of the most debated political rights movements of our generation. What’s more, they had celebrity endorsements from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, guys who won four Grammy’s Sunday night. If these two weren’t in the spotlight before, they will be in the national spotlight for years to come furthering their brand awareness and cementing them as pro gay right hip-hop artists. That too is something that very few hip-hop artists believe in and can make claim.

All that is known is this: No matter what you think about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the Grammy’s, or gay marriage. This performance had to affect the audience in some way- it was that profound. The Grammy’s, known as a feel good award show with it’s live music and celebrity appeal, brought the audience into a sober mood to make a statement. Something like this had never been done before on national television, and that is what will make it stick in the back of everyone’s mind if they decide to watch the Grammy’s again next year.