CR-CL’s Unofficial Study Playlist

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

No, I don’t mean Thanksgiving. It’s time for outlining and consolidating all the knowledge we have accrued this semester. And during all that feverish writing, there are still dishes to wash and, in my apartment, there are still paper-thin walls and next-door neighbors. Cue up these sonic delights for some legally themed music sure to drown out anyone’s throaty predictions about major league football. You’re welcome. 

            Much like a 16-credit courseload, this playlist may not be suitable for children. CR-CL does not endorse criminal activity.

Rapper Snoop appears in court in a hearing regarding a shooting of a rival gang member.



Legislation and Regulation:

Voxtrot – Start of Something

Oh, tell me your thoughts, tell me your thoughts on liberty,/
See there’s a place where I sink to sleeping/
Oh, my vote is as red as my blood/
Will you join me for another round? I haven’t had the chance to speak yet . . .

This is clearly a commentary on INS v. Chadha, as well as the adequacy of notice and comment procedures.

The indie crooners make a brief reference to criminal law in the line “I break the law once every week to feel your touch, / What’s a book to you in bed, Do you feel better, older?” which we can all hope is not in the vein of Regina v. Prince. But the reference to ink “dripping from your pen,” evokes the kind of textualist analysis that is more at home in Administrative Law than in Criminal Law.


Biggie – Gimme The Loot

 “Rolex watches and colorful swatches, I’m digging in pockets.” Christopher Wallace provides a helpful review of adverse possession.

Criminal Law:

Biggie – N****s Bleed

In under five minutes, this song covers conspiracy, felony murder, and destruction of evidence through the use of gasoline and kerosene. The chorus and title suggest  contrition on Mr. Wallace’s part, but this is undercut by other verses.

Criminal Procedure:

Biggie – Hypnotize

Mr. Wallace should have been more chary about creating a “note for the plaintiff”; writings can be evidence of mens rea.



Antitrust: Boss Hogg Outlawz – Keep it Playa

Through its discussion of substitution and understanding, this rap ditty incorporates basic Contracts principles. PJ states, “there’s a couple stipulations that we must follow.” Yet it’s clear that his intentions are far from lawful.

Later, he adds, “See I ain’t worried; there’s no competition.” The FTC begs to differ.

Copyright: 2 Live Crew – Pretty Woman

SCOTUS puts it best: “2 Live Crew juxtaposes the romantic musings of a man whose fantasy comes true, with degrading taunts, a bawdy demand for sex, and a sigh of relief from paternal responsibility.”  Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569, 583 (1994) (9-0 decision). 2 Live Crew was sued for copyright infringement of Roy Orbison’s 1964 song, “Oh, Pretty Woman.” The Supreme Court ruled in the band’s favor, expanding the fair use doctrine to include commercial parodies.

Justice Souter analyzed the song’s “characteristic opening bass riff,” and so should you.


Snoop Doggy Dogg – Murder Was the Case

When Snoop was tried for murder, prosecutors introduced this song as evidence. Does Rule 403 apply? Can a rap song be considered a recording of present sense impressions, trumping the hearsay rules regarding temporal attenuation? Discuss.




The Coup – Takin’ These

Although not a controlling authority, The Coup offers intriguing arguments for a revised system of redistribution. “Put those dividends down on the flo’ and get real/

I can’t feed my family with a happy meal.”

What are your favorite songs illuminating legal concepts?

Do you have a suggestion for civil procedure or torts? White collar crime?

I’m listening.