Signing off on the “Rap Music on Trial” legislation bill, JAY-Z, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, and more have urged the New York Legislature to uphold free speech protections in rap.
Rap is fighting back. First proposed in November by state senators Brad Hoylman and Jamaal Bailey, New York legislation bill “Rap Music on Trial” hopes to halt criminal prosecutors from citing lyrics as trial evidence. The bill has since garnered support from JAY-Z, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland, Fat Joe, Yo Gotti, Robin Thicke and more.
“The right to free speech is enshrined in our federal and state constitutions,” Bailey said in a statement. “The admission of art as criminal evidence only serves to erode this fundamental right, and the use of rap and hip-hop lyrics in particular is emblematic of the systemic racism that permeates our criminal justice system.” The legislation passed an initial stage in the state senate earlier this week.