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The Times podcast: Crimes for rhymes?

Young Thug performs on day four of the Lollapalooza Music Festival
Young Thug performs in Chicago in 2021. The rapper, whose name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, was arrested May 9, 2022, in Georgia on conspiracy to violate the state’s RICO act and street gang charges, according to jail records.
(Amy Harris / Invision / Associated Press)
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There are dozens if not hundreds of cases involving prosecutors using rap lyrics that are about crimes as evidence of actual crimes, even when there was no other credible evidence. But finally, the recording industry and California lawmakers are pushing to put an end to the practice.

Today, we talk about groundbreaking legislation that could limit how music is used as evidence in criminal court. Read the full transcript here.

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Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times columnist Erika D. Smith

More reading:

Column: America loves rap, not Black people. Don’t be fooled because this bill protects lyrics

Rapper ‘Tiny Doo’ and college student arrested under controversial gang law get day in court against police

San Diego council approves $1.5M payout to two men jailed under controversial gang law

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistant is Madalyn Amato. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany
and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.

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