A coalition of recording artists and music trade executives have written an open letter, calling on prosecutors to cease utilizing rap lyrics as proof in felony prosecutions, and calling on legislators to set limits on how rap lyrics can be utilized in courtroom proceedings.
The letter was printed within the New York Occasions and the Atlanta Journal-Structure on Tuesday and was signed by artists together with Megan Thee Stallion, Submit Malone, Lil Child, Travis Scott, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keyes, Killer Mike, 50 Cent, 2 Chainz, Questlove, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Future, J. Cole, Christina Aguilera, Coldplay, T.I. Ty Dolla $ign and others. It was additionally signed by executives from corporations together with Common Music Group, Sony Music Group, Common Music Group, BMG, Reside Nation, Spotify, TikTok, SiriusXM and YouTube Music.
The letter is titled “Artwork on Trial: Shield Black Artwork.” It opens by figuring out that “in courtrooms throughout America, the pattern of prosecutors utilizing artist’s artistic expression in opposition to them is going on with troubling frequency.” It explains that “[r]appers are storytellers, creating total worlds populated with complicated characters who can play each hero and villain. However greater than every other artwork kind, rap lyrics are basically getting used as confessions in an try and criminalize Black creativity and artistry.”
The letter goes on to debate the continuing prosecution of Younger Thug and the Younger Stone Life Label, the place Fulton County prosecutors have claimed that the lyric “I get all kind of money, I’m a basic” is a confession of felony intent that can be utilized to indicate that the Younger Thug and others entered right into a felony conspiracy.
The letter concludes that “[t]he use of lyrics in opposition to artists on this method is un-American and easily mistaken. Past the plain disregard without spending a dime speech and inventive expression protected by the First Modification, this racially focused observe punishes already marginalized communities and their tales of household, wrestle, survival and triumph.”
The continued use of rap lyrics by prosecutors on this method creates the very actual chance of a First Modification “chilling impact,” the place rap artists shall be compelled to self-censor their lyrics to keep away from dialogue of illegal actions, for worry that it’d sometime be used in opposition to them in courtroom.
Leave a Reply