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JAY-Z, MEEK MILL & MORE CELEBS TEAM UP TO BLOCK RAP LYRICS FROM BEING USED IN COURT
Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
Jay-Z and Meek Mill might have 99 problems, but a rap lyric shouldn’t be one!
The A-list rappers, along with celebs like Robin Thicke, Kelly Rowland, Fat Joe, and more, are backing a proposed state law called “Rap Music on Trial” (S.7527/A.8681) that will block prosecutors from using rap lyrics as proof of criminal evidence in court. Jay-Z’s lawyer Alex Spiro co-wrote a letter to state lawmakers on behalf of the group of music titans, along with University of Richmond’s professor, Erik Nielson.
“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,” Spiro, shared. “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.”
Deeming rap lyrics as a “creative form of self-expression” while highlighting the disproportionate scrutiny of lyrics against people of color as opposed to white artists such as “Folson Prison Blues singer”Johnny Cash, Senator Jamaal Bailey—one of the senators who are pushing the proposed law forward—said that “presuming a defendant’s guilt based solely on musical genre or creative expression is antithetical to our foundational rights and perpetuates the systemic racism that is embedded into the criminal justice system through discriminatory conflations of hip-hop and rap with criminality,” Complex reports.