Earlier this week, the New York Senate passed Senate Bill S7527, better known as the Rap On Trial bill. It was sponsored by Senators Jamaal Bailey and Brad Hoylman and it received support from rappers like Fat Joe, Jay-Z, Killer Mike, and Meek Mill. The bill states that there should be “clear and convincing evidence” that an artist’s song, video, or other “creative expression” is “literal, rather than figurative or fictional.” This now makes it harder for prosecutors to use lyrics, which are exaggerated more times than not and used for the sake of the art, to tie in rappers in cases related to RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and more.
Shortly after the bill was passed, TMZ caught up with Bobby Shmurda to hear his thoughts about it. Bobby, who was released from prison last year following a seven-year sentence on weapons and murder conspiracy charges, had his lyrics used in court. “I’m grateful for it,” he told TMZ. “I feel like it needs to happen all over the country, especially with what’s going on in Atlanta right now. I feel like rap is targeted the most. Rap is expression you know? If you look at movies, everything is expression, so rap is an expression. I feel sometimes like it shouldn’t be said in court or anything.”
He later added, “I feel like it limits art, it limits what it does. When they say that the rap can be used against you, it limits your art because sometimes people just want to be free.”
Bobby’s comment about Atlanta is in reference to the RICO case that Young Thug, Gunna, and 26 other members of YSL were recently wrapped up in. In that case, the charges against the group include conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, murder, armed robbery, and participation in criminal street gang activity.
You can listen to Bobby’s comments in the video provided by TMZ here.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.