Jay-Z & Meek Mill Pushing to Ban Rap Lyrics Being Used in Court


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.

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.