Disclaimer: this could all be one big parody. Coming from a Congressman, however, it is in all likelihood completely absurd – but not a joke. Congressman Jamaal Bowman from New York proclaimed that the lack of criminal country music artists is indicative of bias in our criminal justice system. Don’t worry he favors a solution: the RAP Act.
How many country artists are prosecuted for their songs?
How many hip hop artists are prosecuted for their songs?
The bias in our criminal justice system is appalling.
We need the Rap Act now!
— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) September 2, 2022
Respondents were quick to point out that country artists do sort of have a reputation.
Staggering how many country artists have shootouts in front of the old saloon.
— Aldous Huxley's Ghost™ (@AF632) September 2, 2022
Is it having a shootout or singing about a shootout that should be eligible for prosecution, be ye cowboy or rapper? Wait just a minute.
Who is being prosecuted for their songs? pic.twitter.com/j7gQASWC4c
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) September 2, 2022
Literally no one is prosecuted for their songs. No one.
And that's a damn shame, too, because there's some terrible music out there right now.
— Adam Wolf ★ (@AdamWolfTX) September 3, 2022
It is possible to be prosecuted for a crime that an artist confesses to in a song, but that’s a choice thing. Singing your confession doesn’t grant anyone immunity, not even country crooners.
Are they being prosecuted for their songs . . . or for incriminating themselves by bragging about past criminal behavior in those songs?
Subtle but distinct difference. I'm completely against the former, but if an artist brags/confesses about illegal behavior, that's on them.
— Brian (@bhg70) September 3, 2022
That does seem to be what the misspoken Congressman is getting at. A Supreme Court ruling that lyrics can be admitted as evidence.
ICYMI, people reading Rep Bowman's tweet: pic.twitter.com/4LXQWT391a
— TorquedBear (@TorquedBear) September 2, 2022
In a just court, any lyrics would be permitted as evidence if they are directly linked to crime that is being prosecuted. For context, the rabbit hole presented by the article from Variety pictured in the tweet above leads to a Maryland court ruling that addresses the admissibility of rap lyrics, specifically. If Congressman Bowman has a point, it’s that the law should be applied equally to all musical genres. Of course, that is not what the Congressman said or what he is calling for. The RAP Act, which stands for the Restoring Artistic Protection Act, would ban the use of (all) lyrics as evidence. Under the RAP Act, even country music lyrics would not be admissible as evidence in a criminal case – not that there are a whole lot of controversial or incriminating lyrics within the genre.
Honey I think you need to pour yourself something tall and strong; make it a hurricane before you go insane. K?
— #Nats Fan Carla (@LibertyBelleCJL) September 3, 2022
Surprising that no one brought up the detestable blended genre of Country-Rap, better known as CRAP among country music fans. If an artist should be prosecuted for a song, it probably ought to be one that offends the ears of its listeners.
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