Editorial Photo Credit: Brian Friedman
Jay-Z, followed by Fat Joe, Big Sean, Yo Gotti, Killer Mike, Kelly Rowland, Robin Thicke, and others signed a letter Wednesday, January 19, urging lawmakers to pass the “Rap Music on Trial” bill (S.7527/A.8681). If passed, the legislation would limit the admissibility of a defendant’s song lyrics or other “creative expression” as evidence of an alleged crime. Prosecutors would have to prove that musical lyrics are “literal, rather than figurative or fictional” using “clear and convincing evidence.”
The legislation was first introduced last November by New York Senators Brad Hoylman and Jamaal Bailey. They want lawmakers to see that “art is creative expression, not a blueprint of criminal plans.” Bailey said,
The Senate Codes committee passed the Rap Music on Trial bill on Tuesday (January 18) but a total vote from the Senate has to happen.
“This 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,” Hov’s lawyer Alex Spiro said. “This 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” Hip Hop DX reported.
“Our lyrics are a creative form of self-expression and entertainment – just like any other genre,” Fat Joe added. “We want our words to be recognized as art rather than being weaponized to get convictions in court.
Source: HipHop DX