'The Game' Asks Court to Ban 'Gangster Rapper' at Trial

By Tanya Roth, Esq. on March 23, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Here is an interesting legal issue. Although the original lawsuit by the assault victim stems from a fight on a basketball court, rapper "The Game" wants certain language excluded from trial. And now, The Game has filed with the court a request to prevent certain references to him, or to his music, from being made in court. 

Specifically, The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Taylor, wants to limit any language referring to him as a "gangster rapper" during trial. His reasoning? He fears that it would somehow prejudice the jury.

The lawsuit follows an altercation on a public basketball court, where Taylor allegedly approached alleged assault victim Shannon Rodrick and told him that his "team is garbage."  A fight ensued and according to court documents, the rapper allegedly sucker-punched Rodrick. After the punch, the rapper allegedly went to his car and came back with a gun, threatening to "blast" Rodrick.

In addition to blocking any reference to Taylor as a "gangster rapper," Taylor is also seeking to block any references to his music lyrics. Incidentally, his lyrics are quite racy and contain profanity, as well as violent references.

There is presumably some sound strategic logic to Taylor's requests. In a civil suit, the balances can tip very delicately, as the standard for liability is really only a simple preponderance of evidence. References to his violent lyrics could indirectly prejudice the jury against him or could lead them to associate violent behavior with Taylor. Indeed, in jury trials, the jury is a decider and the opinion of the jury can mean the difference between a favorable and unfavorable verdict. 

Taylor has already conceded to the charges of being in possession of a firearm. 

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