This was a comedy sketch from Key & Peele 2015:

 

Apparently, in 2022 Congress has to prevent that from happening.

 

The what now?

Democrats Propose ‘RAP Act’ to Ban Lyrics from Being Used as Evidence

Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) on Wednesday introduced the Restoring Artistic Protection (RAP) Act to limit the use of lyrics and “artistic expression” as evidence in criminal cases.

The bill’s introduction follows the arrests and charges against Young Thug and Gunna earlier this year, with prosecutors leaning heavily on the musicians’ lyrics. If passed, the bill would restrict the ability of prosecutors in criminal cases, as well as lawyers in civil cases, to use song lyrics as evidence against musicians. That tactic is disproportionately employed against rappers, and the lawmakers noted the racial justice element of their legislation as they announced the bill.

The statement released by Bowman is preposterous.

“I am proud to introduce the RAP Act alongside Rep. Hank Johnson. Our judicial system disparately criminalizes Black and brown lives, including Black and brown creativity. For example, Tommy Munsdwell Canady is a young 17-year-old kid serving a life sentence whose conviction heavily relied upon lyrics he wrote. I was deeply moved to hear that Mr. Canady continues to pursue his art in the face of our carceral systems that would otherwise stifle Black art. He is not an outlier. Evidence shows when juries believe lyrics to be rap lyrics, there’s a tendency to presume it’s a confession, whereas lyrics for other genres of music are understood to be art, not factual reporting. This act would ensure that our evidentiary standards protect the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. We cannot imprison our talented artists for expressing their experiences nor will we let their creativity be suppressed.”

By Black and brown creativity they mean rapping about crimes they committed for street cred.

Nobody believed that Johnny Cash shot a man in Reno just to watch him die because there was no other evidence of the crime.

In the Canady case, there was additional evidence.

Tommy Canady sat in court on Thursday, August 6th with his head down, as family members of Semar McClain looked on in disbelief.

“Just why? What was your purpose? My brother didn’t do nothing to nobody,” McClain’s sister Semaja McClain said.

McClain was gunned down in an armed robbery incident on July 29th — near Blake Street and Albert Street.

The criminal complaint filed against Canady says police were dispatched to the 1300 block of Blake Avenue in Racine around 5:00 p.m. on July 29th — for a report of a man down.

There, they discovered Semar McClain dead of a single gunshot wound to the head.

The complaint against Canady says an evidence technician with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office recovered a projectile from McClain’s right temple area.

The complaint says in the early morning hours of July 29th, police responded to a shooting in the area of Quincy Avenue and Olive Street in Racine. There, a 15-year-old boy suffered gunshot wounds to his back and face. A projectile was recovered from a garage in the area of this shooting.

The complaint says an additional shooting was reported on July 29th — in the 1700 block of Green Street in Racine. There, it was learned that a 16-year-old was shot — and a projectile was recovered from a basement.

The complaint against Canday says the projectiles from these three shootings were taken to the Wisconsin Crime Lab — where they were analyzed. There, it was determined that the bullet recovered from McClain, and the bullet recovered from the Quincy Avenue/Olive Street shooting shared similar characteristics, and likely came from the same type of firearm.

The complaint says the third bullet — from the shooting that occurred on Green Street was from a .380 handgun — according to the state’s Crime Lab.

The complaint says investigators spoke with a witness — who reported seeing McClain and Canady together earlier on July 29th. That witness says McClain was holding a .380 handgun, and Canady was holding a .38 caliber revolver. That witness reported the two were discussing trading and/or selling the guns to one another.

A second witness corroborated this story, according to the complaint.

The complaint says investigators were able to determine the firearm was the same .380 handgun recovered from Canady’s residence — and the same firearm that the witnesses told investigators McClain was trying to trade or sell earlier on July 29th.

The complaint says a song called “I’m out here” was posted to the “Sound Cloud” website on July 31st — two days after McClain was killed.

Investigators listened to the lyrics — and in this particular song, the complaint says Canady was heart to rap the following lyrics: “get Semar slipping, walking through the alley, (expletive) tried to run like an athlete, but bullets catch (expletive), bullets run track meets, bullet hit the (expletive) head and he falls to his toes, he thinks he’s (expletive) now he’s getting exposed.”

The complaint says the song went on to say: “I’ll kill (expletive) real quick and snatch his gold. I’ll set you up — don’t get me wrong.”

So there was ballistic evidence, eye witnesses, and the rap lyrics match the forensic evidence and call the victim by name.

That’s a far fry from Bohemian Rhapsody.

Bowman wants you to believe that the police are listening to rap lyrics to find innocent black men to arrest and charge.

Reality is that the police did a criminal investigation and the shooter was dumb enough to detail his crime to a beat in SoundCloud.

That isn’t racism, by the classical understanding, playing a very stupid game and winning a very stupid prize.

Perhaps, the big problem is that that rap culture honors this criminal activity and encourages budding rappers to commit crimes.

I doubt Johnny Cash fans would celebrate if Cash actually had shot a man in Reno.  It certainly wouldn’t buy him credibility.

But that’s racist, according to the new standard.

We live in very stupid times.

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By J. Kb

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