Hip Hop

Young Thug: Atlanta City Council Introduced Bill To Limit Rap Lyrics Use In Court

An Atlanta law maker introduced a bill to limit the use of rap lyrics in criminal cases which could have a far reaching impact on Young Thug's YSL Rico Case

Young Thug
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A bill to limit the use of rap lyrics in criminal trials is gaining momentum in Atlanta as Atlanta’s City Council moves to introduce a bill that will see prosecutors less likely to rely on rap lyrics as evidence.

Atlanta is burgeoning with talent and is slowly becoming a mecca for arts and entertainment as it attracts people from across the world. However, with the rapid development of the arts and music industry and growing income from music and tourism, a new threat has arisen as prosecutors use rap lyrics in trials, and this causes artists to restrict themselves out of fear of prosecution.

The ongoing YSL RICO trial, which claims that the YSL collective is allegedly a criminal gang and that rappers Young Thug, Gunna, and others sparked an important conversation about how rap lyrics can be damaging for the art of music.

However, the Atlanta City Council is moving to introduce a bill that, if passed, could see rap lyrics being limited in use in criminal trials. The bill is supported by District 12 council member Antonio Lewis who said that rap lyrics can interfere with artists receiving a fair trial.

The bill will directly benefit rappers of a certain background who sing about the social issues in their communities or upbringing.

“Our resolution is a significant step toward rectifying an issue that has disproportionately affected individuals within marginalized communities. We must protect the freedom of artistic expression while ensuring that evidence used in criminal trials is relevant, reliable, and does not perpetuate bias,” he said.

Added Lewis, “By urging the Georgia General Assembly to address this matter, we are fostering a more equitable and just criminal justice system for all.”

If passed, the law will amend Title 17, Chapter 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Using rap lyrics has become increasingly common in trials of rappers, but many, including Kevin Lile, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, J. Cole, Travis Scott, Post Malone, Alicia Keys, Megan Thee Stallion, and others, believe that the lyrics cause authorities to target rappers.

Last year, following the YSL indictment, Warner Music revealed a petition called Art on Trial: Protect Black Art which urged that Americans’ right to freedom of expression was being impeded and that the use by prosecutors was unfair.

So far, California and New York have passed legislation that will stop prosecutors from using lyrics unless there is a relevant connection to the trial.