Prejudice towards black men in the music industry, and particularly in rap and hip-hop, isn’t anything new, but recently it’s taken an even more sinister turn with long-lasting legal implications. Atlanta rappers Young Thug and Gunna are two such artists who have been incriminated in acts of murders, shootings and carjacking, due to the content of their lyrics.
In the same situation is New York-based Canadian rapper Avalanche The Architect, who was also charged over lyrics he used in his song. In each of these court cases, the lyrics were taken way out of context and used to imply that these rappers must be guilty, despite a lack of any other substantial evidence. The routine racism and miscarriage of justice extended beyong the initial allegations and into the court case itself. The Architect had opted to represent himself in court, but the prosecution (namely Canadian Crown Prosecutor, Henry Poon) didn’t disclose vital information to the artist although it was well within his legal rights to receive any and all discovery. The court recognised that this was a mishandling, but took the side of the prosecution who collectively decided that this “lost ” evidence wouldn’t have been helpful to Avalanche’s defense.
Avalanche has fully utilized his social media accounts to push his message which during the course of the trial the courts even tried to silence that too. Avalanches twitter account has been the life line between him and major celebrities and civil rights groups who sought out his insight to this new trend of speech suppression. His twitter as seen here: https://twitter.com/AVALANCHE_RAP is like an online dance party!
It’s obvious from the cases involving all three rappers that black men are overly critiqued and this obsession over their lyrics, which are an expression of freedom of speech, verges on a witch hunt. In retaliation to this farcical court proceeding, Avalanche The Architect is now collaborating with a team of lawyers who are working pro-bono to see which private members bill they can pass to prevent this injustice from occurring again.
Despite fighting this case in court, Avalanche The Architect also put out his newest and highly acclaimed album, Let There Be War, which charted across iTunes’ hip-hop charts in Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland. Check out the album on Apple Music and Spotify, and keep up to date with Avalanche via his Twitter page.