California becomes the first state in the country to officially restrict the use of rap lyrics as evidence

California becomes the first state in the country to restrict the use of rap lyrics as circumstantial evidence.

Governor Newsom signed a bill Friday that will restrict the use of “creative content” against rappers and musicians in the state. Their lyrics cannot be used as evidence unless a judge reviews and approves them.

AB 2799 – or The Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act is the first bill of its kind and comes after rappers Young Thug and Gunna were charged by authorities using the lyrics they used in songs.

Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, who introduced the bill, stated that AB 2799 “will provide judges with the necessary guidance to assess whether a creative expression is admissible during a criminal trial and provide a framework to ensure that creative expression will not be used to trigger or reinforce stereotypes or activate racial prejudice.”

Dina Polt, an entertainment attorney, said in part:

This legislation puts in place important guardrails that will help courts hold prosecutors accountable and prevent them from criminalizing black and brown artistic expression. Thank you, Governor Newsom, for setting the standard. We hope Congress will pass similar legislation as this is a nationwide problem.

Rap Lyrics Bill introduced in Congress

A similar bill was presented to Congress by lawmakers in July. According to BillboardThe Restoring Artistic Protection Act, otherwise known as the RAP Act, would restrict the use of artistic or creative evidence against the person who created it.

Music industry professionals have been lobbying for such a law for years. With such a divided Congress, it is of course unclear whether the new federal law has a real chance of succeeding. Artists have celebrated today’s announcement, such as #MeekMill, who had his music quoted during a previous confrontation with the law.

300 Elektra Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kevin Liles Called Prosecutors at Young Thug . Hearing last month for an attempt to from rapper texts to persecute him, saying:

This racially oriented practice punishes already marginalized communities and their stories of family, struggle, survival and triumph. Authorities are criminalizing black creativity and artistry, and this bill will put an end to that. We must protect black art.

Judge rules NBA YoungBoy’s lyrics can’t be used against him

Recently, a judge barred prosecutors from using NBA YoungBoy’s lyrics against him in a federal firearms case.

The NBA YoungBoy trial for gun possession began on Tuesday (July 12). In a ruling today, Judge R. Gary Klausner of the Central District of California has halted the prosecution’s attempts to use the Baton Rouge, La rhymer’s lyrics as evidence. XXL has confirmed the verdict.

He was later found not guilty on all charges.

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