New York State Senate approve bill limiting use of rap lyrics as evidence in court

New York’s State Senate have approved the bill that would limit the use of song lyrics as evidence in criminal trials, Pitchfork reports. The article states that Senate Bill S7527 -- often referred to as the "Rap Music On Trial" bill -- would not entirely ban prosecutors from presenting lyrics in court, but they would be required to prove that the work is "literal, rather than figurative or fictional."

From the NY State Senate's website:

The purpose of this legislation is to protect freedom of speech and artistic expression in New York State. This bill effectuates the enhanced free speech protections provided by the New York State Constitution, ensuring that criminal defendants are tried based upon evidence of criminal conduct, not the provocative nature of their artistic works and tastes.

The bill was sponsored by Senators Jamaal Bailey and Brad Hoylman, and it had previously received support from Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, and others. It still needs to pass the New York State Assembly before it can become a law.

This news comes shortly after it was reported that Young Thug and Gunna are facing RICO charges and that song lyrics were deemed "an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy" in court documents.