CA is the 1st state to ensure creative content – like lyrics & music videos – can't be used against artists in court without judicial review.
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) September 30, 2022
This is funny.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to restrict prosecutors from using rap lyrics as evidence against criminal defendants in California.
Newsom signed on the dotted line of a new bill — the Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, also known as AB 2799 — on Friday, which advocates say will help protect artistic expression in hip-hop and rap.
The bill was approved by state lawmakers in August after mass backlash over the imprisonment of some big names in rap, including Young Thug, Gunna, and the late rapper Drakeo the Ruler.
Used as evidence against them were their song lyrics, as prosecutors alleged Young Thug formed a street gang and promoted it through his songs.
“For too long, prosecutors in California have used rap lyrics as a convenient way to inject racial bias and confusion into the criminal justice process,” Dina LaPolt, co-founder of Songwriters of North America, said in a statement, according to Variety.
“This legislation sets up important guardrails that will help courts hold prosecutors accountable and prevent them from criminalizing Black and Brown artistic expression. Thank you, Gov. Newsom, for setting the standard. We hope Congress will pass similar legislation, as this is a nationwide problem.”
“Not having this legislation has allowed people to utilize people’s creativity and lyrics against them when we know that’s not fair,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. said ahead of the signing. “I don’t think anybody in the studio when they’re in their cars in their garage or when they’re writing music, they shouldn’t be thinking about, ‘Is this going to be something that I shouldn’t say in art and music?’”
“We should be able to express ourselves. We should be able to say things that are on our minds and our hearts or in our imaginations without fear of somebody bringing this up in a courtroom,” he added.
It’s really just another way to say “blacks can’t be punished.” Blacks confess to crimes in basically every rap song. You can say it’s artistic expression, okay, but if they actually did the crimes they’re talking about, then no matter how artistic, it’s still a confession of having committed a crime.
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Blacks are funny.