Published on: Saturday, August 27, 2022

The California legislature has passed a bill that restricts the use of rap lyrics and other creative works as evidence in criminal proceedings (article available here).

Assembly Bill 2799, which would make California the first state to restrict how forms of creative expression, from music to books, can be used as evidence in criminal proceedings. The state Legislature passed it unanimously.

The bill requires judges to weigh the “probative value” of the artistic evidence against the “substantial danger of undue prejudice” that could result if it is admitted. The bill is awaiting the governor's signature.

Two of rap’s biggest stars, platinum-selling rapper Young Thug and his chart-topping protege Gunna, are facing gang-related racketeering charges in Georgia, with their lyrics and music videos being used as evidence. Both have been in jail for months.