Why “Rap Music on Trial” Bill Matters In Young Thug And YSL Case

What is “Rap Music on Trial”? Why does it matter in Young Thug’s arrest? I’m glad you asked. Jay-Z is currently trending on Twitter. Since it seems like Jay Z trends every month, I wanted to know what was he trending for today. 

What is “Rap Music on Trial”

Apparently, one of the reasons Jay-Z is trending is because he signed the “Rap Music on Trial” legislation that would prevent rap lyrics be used in court as evidence of crimes, according to RollingStone. Fat Joe, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland, Big Sean, Yo Gotti, Killer Mike, Robin Thicke, and other celebrities have signed as well.

The New York State Senate website states that Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WFP-Manhattan) and Senator Jamaal Bailey (D-The Bronx) introduced “Rap Music on Trial” legislation on November 17, 2021, to enhance the free speech protections of New Yorkers by banning the use of art created by a defendant as evidence against them in a courtroom. The legislation will protect all artists and content creators, including rappers from having their lyrics wielded against them by prosecutors.

Why Does It Matter In Young Thug’s Arrest?

Since Young Thug and Gunna were recently arrested due to suspicion of gang involvement and conspiracy to violate the Georgia criminal racketeering law, the courts are using his lyrics to justify the arrest.

This is why Senator Brad Hoylman and Senator Jamaal Bailey introduced the “Rap Music on Trial” legislation because lyrics used in songs as evidence is warping the definition of facts and borderline impeding on the right to free speech.

According to The New York State Senate website, in courtrooms across the country, artists’ musical works are being admitted against them as “evidence” in criminal proceedings. Just as concerning, the mere appreciation of  others’ music–whether through reposting lyrics, performing, or simply listening–is also being used as “evidence.” Unchecked, these practices chill free expression, transform the figurative into fact, and warp criminal courts into instruments for suppressing provocative speech. Moreover, these practices ignore the foundational principle that a criminal case should be tried on the facts and not on a person’s  “propensity” to commit the crime. [Additionally], social scientists have linked anti-rap attitudes and racially discriminatory behavior. But rap is just like any other creative expression.

Social Media Reactions

Fans have put “Rap Music on Trial” back in conversation after Young Thug and Gunna’s arrest.

 

 


What are your thoughts on “Rap Music on Trial”? Do you think the court has the right to use lyrics as evidence or is it off-limits due to free speech? Comment below

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