A new bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives that will protect Artists from being prosecuted based on their song lyrics – the protection will extend to both civil and criminal proceedings.
The Restoring Artistic Protection Act or RAP Act was recently introduced by Democratic congressman, Hank Johnson of Georgia and Jamaal Bowman of New York – two Black men.
Variety reports that this act would impact the Federal Rules of Evidence by adding an element “that would limit the admissibility of evidence of an artist’s creative or artistic expression against that artist in court.”
Supporters of the bill cite the lyrics of legendary artists describing criminal activities in the first person.
“Freddy Mercury did not confess to having “just killed a man” by putting “a gun against his head” and pulling the trigger. Bob Marley did not confess to having shot a sheriff. And Johnny Cash did not confess to shooting “a man in Reno, just to watch him die.”
Lyrics are like poetry – sometimes stating obvious truths while other times creating fantastical imagery and scenarios.
Young Thug And Gunna’s Lyrics Were Used Against Them
Thug and Gunna are the most recent artists to be indicted based on their song lyrics. Over 20 of their associates were also indicted in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act case in ATL.
These rappers are gonna learn to stop snitching on themselves or refrain from creating lyrics about an imaginary life of crime just for clout.
Nine of Young Thug’s songs were used to indict him, and that’s a crime in and of itself according to Kevin Liles, the chairman, and CEO of 300 Elektra Entertainment, Thug’s label home.
“Today, too many artists, almost always hip-hop artists, face allegations of wrongdoing which rely heavily on their lyrics as evidence. Beyond the disregard for free speech protected by the First Amendment, this racially targeted practice punished already marginalized communities and their stories of family, struggle, alluvial and triumph.”
He concluded, “Black creativity and artistry are being criminalized and this bill will help end that. We must protect Black art.”
He also recently applauded the congressman who introduced the RAP act.
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