Paramount+ to premiere new doc about rap music on trial next month

A new documentary about the use of rap lyrics in court rooms and on trial will premiere on Paramount+ next month.

The streamer announced As We Speak: Rap Music on Trial, which follows Bronx rapper Kemba as he explores the “growing weaponization” of rap lyrics in the United States criminal justice system and abroad. His findings will reveal how law enforcement has quietly used the hip-hop art form as evidence in cases for decades, a description of the show says. 

The new feature-length documentary saw its world premiere screening at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. 

“It’s not every day a director gets to meet a once-in-a-generation rap artist like Kemba and then has the opportunity to spotlight him in a film like As we Speak: Rap on Trial,” director J.M. Harper said. “The history of Black lyrics on trial predates hip-hop by hundreds of years, and thanks to the crew at District 33, Park Pictures and Strike Anywhere, we found a way to bring the story of the music to life.”

The first-look trailer gives a glimpse of the film, which includes sit-down interviews with rapper/activist Killer Mike and others. 

As We Speak: Rap Music on Trial premieres Tuesday, February 27, in the U.S. and Canada, and in other countries on Wednesday, February 28.

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