JAY-Z is spearheading a group of A-list artists (Meek Mill, Big Sean, Fat Joe, Yo Gotti & Killer Mike), pushing to ban rap lyrics from being used in court, according to Rolling Stone.
The star-studded collective have lent their signatures to a new letter urging urging New York state lawmakers — including Gov. Kathy Hochul — to pass a bill titled “Rap Music on Trial” (S.7527/A.8681). The legislation, which was unveiled in November, seeks to limit the admissibility of a defendant’s music or other “creative expression” as evidence shown to a jury. The bill would force prosecutors to provide “clear and convincing evidence” that a defendant’s creative expression, such as a rap song, is “literal, rather than figurative or fictional.” On Jan. 18, the bill was also passed by the Senate Codes committee, providing a major boost to its chances of being put to a full vote on the senate floor.
The rap superstars, along with Fat Joe, Big Sean, Yo Gotti, Kelly Rowland, Killer Mike, Robin Thicke, and others, urge New York lawmakers to pass the proposed bill “Rap Music on Trial” https://t.co/aEI6tQEgtb
— Rolling Stone Australia (@rollingstoneaus) January 19, 2022
Rap lyrics have long been used to put rappers behind bars. From Bobby Shmurda and YNW Melly to Tay-K and the late Drakeo The Ruler, countless artists have had their rhymes used against them in court, with prosecutors arguing their music is a lyrical confession of their alleged crimes.