Rap lyrics will no longer be able to be used as evidence in court in the state of California. According to Variety, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed The Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, prohibiting songs to be used against defendants.

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The bill, known as AB 2799, was unanimously approved by the California Senate and Assembly in August. Rappers Killer Mike, Meek Mill, Too $hort, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, E-40, and Tyga spoke at a virtual bill signing ceremony on the significance of the law, along with CEO of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason Jr. Leaders from Songwriters of North America and the Black Music Action Coalition also attended the signing ceremony.

“For too long, prosecutors in California have used rap lyrics as a convenient way to inject racial bias and confusion into the criminal justice process,” said Dina LaPolt, entertainment attorney and co-founder of Songwriters of North America. “This legislation sets up important guardrails that will help courts hold prosecutors accountable and prevent them from criminalizing Black and Brown artistic expression. Thank you, Gov. Newsom, for setting the standard. We hope Congress will pass similar legislation, as this is a nationwide problem.”


You can read more about the passing of the bill and future legislative efforts here.