A bill first introduced last July, which seeks to protect artists from the wrongful use of their lyrics against them in criminal and civil court proceedings, has been re-introduced to Congress by two Democratic congressmen.
According to a press release, on Thursday (April 27), the Restoring Artistic Protection Act (RAP Act) was reintroduced by Democratic congressmen Hank Johnson and Jamaal Bowman at a press conference. The legislators were joined by representatives of the Black Music Coalition (BMAC), the Recording Academy, the Black Music Collective, SAG-AFTRA, and other First Amendment advocates in making the demand for free speech rights for artists, including rappers.
The piece of legislation seeks to add a presumption to the Federal Rules of Evidence that would limit the admissibility of evidence of an artist’s creative or artistic expression to be used against them in court.
Lil Boosie's Lyrics to Be Used in Murder Trial
“The Black Music Action Coalition supports and applaud Congressmen Hank Johnson and Jamal Bowman for this forward movement to right the systemic wrong of utilizing rap lyrics as the sole evidence of crimes through the proposed RAP Act,” said Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, Co-Founder/Chair of BMAC. “Hip-Hop as a form of art is being critically endangered by this plague taking over our criminal justice system. Rap is undeniably the heart of not just popular music but American culture and deserves the same First Amendment protection as all other creative expression.”
There is a long-established precedent of using artist’s lyrics against them in court. Perhaps most recent and famously is currently happening in the Young Thug and Young Slime Life (YSL) RICO trial. Prosecutors have introduced the Atlanta rapper’s song lyrics in an attempt to establish YSL as a criminal enterprise.
- Judge Rules That Texas School District's Suspension of Darryl George Over Length of His Locs Did Not Violate CROWN ACTDarryl George, an 18-year-old student at Barbers Hill High School was first suspended from regular classes on Aug. 31, because he did not comply with the dress code.02/23/2024
- DDG Gets Candid On How He And Halle Bailey Got Pregnant After Nearly Two Years Of Dating“We weren’t aiming for a baby, but it just kinda happened,” said the rapper.02/23/2024
- Howard University To Debut First HBCU Ice Skating TeamThe intercollegiate skating team will face the University of Delaware in its first competition.02/23/2024
- Porsha Williams Files For Divorce From Simon Guobadia After 15 Months Of MarriageAccording to a source, their split is "unrelated to recent allegations involving Simon's past," but rather, an "ongoing matter."02/23/2024
- Wendy Williams Finds Support in Blac Chyna Amidst Health Struggles: A Revealing Look in New Lifetime Documentary"Where Is Wendy Williams?" premieres on Saturday, February 24 at 8 p.m.02/23/2024
- Jermaine Dupri Confirms That Unreleased Usher Track Is Finally AvailableTaking to social media, the award-winning producer said that “Believe” will drop on February 23.02/23/2024