Longtime music executive Kevin Liles made a petition in response to the RICO case against Young Thug, Gunna and other YSL members.
Kevin Liles created his “Rap Music on Trial: Protect Black Art” petition on Change.org. The 300 Entertainment co-founder condemned the use of rap lyrics in criminal cases, citing Young Thug and YSL’s legal troubles as an example.
“Today in courtrooms across America, Black creativity and artistry is being criminalized,” he wrote. “With increasing and troubling frequency, prosecutors are attempting to use rap lyrics as confessions. This practice isn’t just a violation of First Amendment protections for speech and creative expression. It punishes already marginalized communities and silences their stories of family, struggle, survival and triumph.”
Kevin Liles called for federal and state legislation to limit prosecutors from using lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. He applauded the New York State Senate for passing such a bill in May.
“We hope that it and similar bills will become law across America to end this attack on our First Amendment freedoms that disproportionately harms Black and other minority artists,” he wrote.
Kevin Liles testified on Young Thug’s behalf at a bond hearing on June 2. A judge denied bond to the rapper, whose trial won’t begin until January 2023.