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Supreme Court Declines Case of Pittsburgh Rapper Convicted Over Song Lyrics

The Supreme Court has declined to review the case of *Jamal Knox v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania*. The case revolves around Knox, a Pittsburgh rapper known professionally as Mayhem Mal, who was charged with terroristic threats and witness intimidation over lyrics in a 2012 song called “Fuck the Police.” After prosecutors alleged his lyrics targeted specific police officers in Pittsburgh, Knox was convicted and sentenced to 2-6 years in prison in 2014. Knox’s attorney argued on appeal that the song was constitutionally protected through the first amendment, but the ruling was upheld by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court rejection follows the recent amicus curiae brief filed by Run the Jewels’ Killer Mike and a group of other rappers—including Chance the Rapper, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, Yo Gotti, Styles P, and more—in support of Knox. The brief contains a “primer on rap music and hip-hop” and claims Knox’s song is “a work of poetry” that is “told from the perspective of two invented characters in the style of rap music.”

https://pitchfork.com/news/supreme-court-declines-case-of-pittsburgh-rapper-convicted-over-song-lyrics

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