By Aron A.
Young Thug remains behind bars as he awaits jury selection in the YSL trial. However, much of the conversation surrounds the use of rap lyrics as evidence in the RICO case. Over the past year, there have been a number of efforts across the United States to limit creative expression as a form of admission in court. Now, an Atlanta City Council passed a resolution that aims to restrict the use of rap lyrics in criminal trials, as All Hip Hop reports.
Most recently, District 12 Councilmember Antonio Lewis of Atlanta explained his concerns over the use of prosecutors using lyrics in trial. As a result, he introduced the legislation as an attempt to address the matter, which became far more prominent in mainstream conversations since Young Thug’s arrest in 2022. However, Lewis and the Atlanta City Council have worked effortlessly to amend a statute in the Georgia Code. The council is now trying to get the Georgia General Assembly to address the matter in Title 17, Chapter 7. View this post on Instagram
The use of rap lyrics, specifically, in trials has been a controversial practice that faced criticism for the racial bias it presents. “Our resolution is a significant step toward rectifying an issue that has disproportionately affected individuals within marginalized communities,” Lewis said. “We must protect the freedom of artistic expression while ensuring that evidence used in criminal trials is relevant, reliable, and does not perpetuate bias. By urging the Georgia General Assembly to address this matter, we are fostering a more equitable and just criminal justice system for all.”
This legislation echoes concerns that Kevin Liles shared with the public upon Young Thug’s arrest. Liles not only took the stand to testify on Thug’s behalf but also partnered with Julie Greenwald to launch a petition against using rap lyrics as evidence. “In courtrooms across America, Black creativity and artistry is being criminalized. With increasing and troubling frequency, prosecutors are attempting to use rap lyrics as confessions, just like they’re doing in this case,” Liles and Greenwald said in a joint statement. “It punishes already marginalized communities and silences their stories of family, struggle, survival, and triumph.”
Photo Creator: Burak Cingi | Credit: Redferns