Jay-Z is among a number of rappers and singers who are calling for the end of being able to use rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. Others calling for a change in New York law so it's no longer allowed include Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland, Killer Mike, Fat Joe, Yo Gotti, Robin Thicke, and more.
Legislation to ban it, presenting it as a matter of free speech and freedom of expression, was first proposed last November by New York state Senators Brad Hoylman and Jamaal Bailey, contending lyrics should only be used as evidence in cases of, quote, "clear and convincing proof" of a link between lyrics and a crime. Bailey said, "The right to free speech is enshrined in our federal and state constitutions. The admission of art as criminal evidence only serves to erode this fundamental right, and the use of rap and hip-hop lyrics in particular is emblematic of the systemic racism that permeates our criminal justice system."