Meek Mill, 21 Savage, and Chance The Rapper joined forced to help jailed rapper Mayhem Mal.
Pittsburgh rapper Mayhem Mal, whose real name is Jamal Knox, was sentenced to 2-4 years in prison where prosecutors used some lyrics from one of his songs as evidence to secure his conviction. Mal also appealed the conviction but ended up losing the appeal. Rappers like Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Chance The Rapper, Yo Gotti, Fat Joe, Killer Mike, and Styles P, all joined forces to aid the rapper who they believed was unjustly imprisoned.
The New York Times reported that the group of rappers hired an attorney who filed a briefing in the Supreme Court to urge the court to review Knox’s case. The briefing was filed on the grounds that the young rapper’s First Amendment rights was breached.
The legal document reads, the primer “illustrates how a person unfamiliar with what today is the nation’s most dominant musical genre or one who hears music through the auditory lens of older genres such as jazz, country, or symphony, may mistakenly interpret a rap song as a true threat of violence and may falsely conclude a rapper intended to convey a true threat of violence when he did not.”
The lyrics in question is in a song called “F*** The Police” in which Knox raps about bring harm to law enforcement officials.
“While famous rappers like Eminem win Grammy Awards and make millions off the violent imagery in their songs, judges and juries are routinely convinced that lesser-known rap artists are somehow living out their lyrics as rhymed autobiography,” Knox’s lawyer, R. Stanton Jones, explains.
The news comes days after news broke that JAY-Z’s Roc Nation company hired an attorney to represent a Florida sixth grader who was arrested for not standing in class for the Pledge of Allegiance. 11-year-old Jabari Talbot’s case was ultimately dismissed thanks to the help of JAY-Z and his team.