Rappers, Meek Mill, JAY-Z, Fat Joe, Others Push For Law Preventing “Rap Lyrics” From Being Used In Court To Convict Rappers

Rappers, Meek Mill, JAY-Z, Fat Joe, Others Push For Law Preventing “Rap Lyrics” From Being Used In Court To Convict Rappers

 

Rapper and business mogul, JAY-Z is leading a group of A-list artists in proposing a new law to disallowing rap lyrics from being used in court as a form of evidence.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, Jay-Z has called up fellow rappers Meek Mill, Big Sean, Fat Joe, Yo Gotti and Killer Mike, as well as R&B stars Kelly Rowland and Robin Thicke, for support on the proposed New York state law.

The suit seems to prevent prosecutors from using rap songs as evidence of alleged crimes.

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The music stars have lent their signatures to a new letter urging New York state lawmakers including Gov. Kathy Hochul β€” to pass a bill titled β€œRap 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 β€œcreative expression” as evidence shown to a jury.

On Tuesday, January 18, the bill was passed by the Senate Codes committee, providing a major boost to its chances of being put to a full vote on the senate floor.

β€œThis is an issue that’s important to (JAY-Z) and all the other artists that have come together to try to bring about this change,” Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro said.

β€œThis is a long time coming. Mr. Carter is from New York, and if he can lend his name and his weight, that’s what he wants to do.”

Spiro co-wrote the letter with University of Richmond Professor Erik Nielson, who co-authored the 2019 book ‘Rap on Trial’.

In it, they emphasize rap music’s deep storytelling roots and use of hyperbolic language, while arguing the genre β€œemploys all of the same poetic devices we find in more traditional works of poetry.”

 

β€œOur lyrics are a creative form of self-expression and entertainment – just like any other genre,” Fat Joe added.

β€œWe want our words to be recognized as art rather than being weaponized to get convictions in court.

β€œI hope the governor and all the lawmakers in New York take our letter into consideration, protect our artistic rights and make the right decision to pass this bill.”

 

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