NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors at a New York City murder trial are showing jurors gritty videos of an alleged Bloods street gang leader rhyming about life and death at a drug-plagued housing project.
One titled "Man Down" offers the refrain, "Empty shell casings on the ground / That's man down."
Another called "Slow Down" warns, "See if he was smart he would've shot me in the head / 'Cause I can get you shot from a hospital bed."
The lyrics are written and performed by Ronald "Ra Diggs" Herron. His lawyers argue that the recordings, some of which are posted online, are merely art imitating life.
The Brooklyn case is one of several across the country that have tested whether rap lyrics should constitute criminal evidence.