New bill could exclude certain rap lyrics from being used in court

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Feb 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-28 18:11:16-05

Often times in music, the line between art and artist can start to blur, but can it blur enough to hold up as evidence in a court of law?

A new bill could be introduced in Maryland that gets to the heart of that question.

Delegate Marlon Amprey, who represents the 40th district in West Baltimore, is sponsoring the bill.

His main goal is to protect artists from being wrongly convicted for crimes they write about in their lyrics.

"We want to make sure there's guardrails set up so when people are expressing themselves, it's entertainment. Entertainers take things over the top sometimes, or describe situations where they're not a party to it but they see it in their community, they see it in their country and they should be able to express their selves," Amprey said.

Amprey's district is the only designated Black arts and cultural district in the state.

He says the only way for artists to come to the area to produce at their highest level, is to protect their artistic expression.

A similar bill has also been passed in California.