Appers Killer Mike, Meek Mill and Tyga were all present for the signing of a new bill that restricts the use of rap lyrics as evidence in California courts.
The Decriminalization of Artistic Expression Act was created to protect artists’ First Amendment rights and end the use of an artist’s words or creative expressions as evidence in criminal and civil proceedings.
California is the first state to pass legislation ensuring that such content cannot be used against artists in court without judicial review.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill Friday during a virtual conference that also included artists Too $hort, Ty Dolla $ign, YG and E-40, as well as Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. .
The signing follows recent indictments of American rappers Young Thug and Gunna, whose words were directly quoted to them in an ongoing lawsuit.
The Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC) called the bill a “crucial step in the right direction” to avoid injecting racial bias into legal proceedings.
Several of the artists present for the signing retweeted the news, with Philadelphia’s Meek Mill praising the “magnitude” of the bill.
“The second time I’ve seen the Governor of California sign bills that help our people…probation caps and bans on using rap lyrics in court,” wrote the rapper, who is also Nicki Minaj’s former partner, on Twitter.
“I RESPECT YOU. Thank you. I understand the magnitude of the moves you are making. We need help in the system!
Harvey Mason Jr said the story was written in California, which would help “pave the way” for the protection of creative freedom in the United States.
“Today we celebrate an important victory for music creators in the state of California,” he said in a statement shared with American media Variety.
“Silencing any genre or form of artistic expression is a violation against all musicians.
“The story being written in California today will help pave the way for the fight to protect creative freedom nationwide.”