A precedent has been set for street cred, real or otherwise, to play a role in legal trials.
NaNa, a rapper based in Dallas, has found himself in a legal situation in which his own lyrics are being used against him. The 22-year-old's rhymes have been wielded in court to justify a hefty sentence.
U.S. District Judge Barbara matched his lyrics to crimes he was suspected of committing. One of the songs she referred to told the story of a robbery that involved the victim being shot in the face by the narrator. "You're bragging about shooting a person," Judge Lynn said in court. "It's violence times 10 at every phase." The young man was initially facing a 6-year sentence. Lynn believed his violent lyrics justified a longer stay in prison, even though the tale is most likely fictional given the fact that this is the case with most songs.
This conclusion is somewhat oblique given the fact that NaNa, whose real name is Nykees "NaNa" Campbell, was charged with a drug-related crime. He was sentenced for cocaine distribution after pleading guilty to the charge in February. The crime considered to be non-violent. Still, it played an integral part in the prosecution of the young artist.
NaNa is said to be linked to the YNB Stretch Gang. The crew is allegedly responsible for a considerable about of criminal activity in their city of Dallas Texas.