The war against Rap continues but some of our biggest talents are fighting back. Several top rappers have signed a letter to protest the use of lyrics in court.
As spotted on Vulture, the Hip-Hop community is trying to right a glaring wrong when it comes to rappers getting prosecuted. Artists, industry leaders, and legal experts have joined together in a call to “Protect Black Art,” publishing an open letter in The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution urging legislators across America to limit how creative expression can be used against defendants on trial. Specifically, it calls for an end to the racially discriminatory practice of treating rap lyrics as confessions.
Drafted and published by Warner Music Group (WMG), the letter reads in part: “Beyond the obvious disregard for free speech and creative expression protected by the First Amendment, this racially targeted practice punishes already marginalized communities and their stories of family, struggle, survival, and triumph.”
The message also points to the recent RICO charges handed out to Young Thug, Young Gunna and various YSL members. “For example, currently in Georgia’s Fulton County, numerous members of the Young Stoner Life record label, led by Grammy-winning artist Jeffery Lamar Williams (AKA Young Thug), are facing more than 50 allegations, including RICO charges that the label is a criminal gang,” the statement read.
The lengthy list of diverse signatories includes companies such as Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group, BMG, Kobalt, and Atlanta-based LVRN and Quality Control, AEG Presents, Audiomack, Deezer, Live Nation, YouTube, Tidal and more.
Artists and songwriters such as 2 Chainz, 21 Savage, 50 Cent, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Alicia Keys, Amy Allen, Baby Tate, Benson Boone, Big Sean, Black Eyed Peas, Breland, Brothers Osborne, Bryce Vine, Busta Rhymes, Drake, and Megan Thee Stallion have also signed the letter to protest.
You can read the full letter here.
Photo: Kate Green