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  • Student Journalist

Music is Artistic Expression. It can't be used to Unlawfully Expend Justice

Music is an experience that is inseparable from the art of from the art of life. However, recently there has been an uproar of cases where musical expression is used as basis for legal prosecution, which I believe is wholly incorrect.


I think that music lyrics, literature and poetry are forms of art that cannot be separated from the artist. However, to use creations of such an individual for the purpose of criminal prosecution creates a mockery of the justice system.


Rapper Young Thug. Source: BBC

To separate the art from the artist, is a prerogative of the artist. While art is an expression of self and often very personal, the creations of an individual cannot colour the world’s perception of them. Most recently, the infamous YNW Melly murder trial, where the lyrics of his popular song ‘Murder on My Mind’ was attempted to be used as official evidence to show orientation to violence, and imprisonment of rap artist Jeffrey Lamar Williams professionally known as ‘Young Thug’ who has been in custody for over a year over a racketeering charges built mostly on the basis of cited lyrics, social media posts and clothing and accessories produced by them and their label.


My opinion matters because as a member of the future of this planet, and an admirer of art I would like for the art-space to not be coloured by cultural bias and a stereotypical outlook. I would also like to maintain the sanctity of the justice system.


A system birthed from the struggles of hundreds, aimed to protect the innocent has lately been unfairly tying rappers to violent crimes through their art, which reverses its right to call itself a ‘justice’ system and erodes its fairness, a feature that is constitutionally guaranteed.


Being an enjoyer of rap and such musical categories I’ve always looked forward to hearing from my favourite artists over social media and whatnot. Art is an expressive format with an

immense power. Yes, there are themes of gore represented in this form of expression however, I believe that this is no different than an artist using their artisanal expression to cover topics like artisanal nudity and other socially ‘taboo’ items on a canvas.


I first came across the multitude of injustice against specifically black artists when musician Young Thug was arrested and that sent me deep into thought. Thought about the lengths to

which the justice system will go to prosecute someone incorrectly and the mountain of development we scale back on with action items as such.


When we vow for a more inclusive global outlook, we must extend the arms of inclusion to the world of music too. This is only one example of one of the multiple injustices that artists face, sometimes for just simply saying certain things. What needs to change is the close

mindedness in music.


Music is an artistic expression, so it isn’t a basis for legal tender, but the mere proposition that it is being used for such a purpose reverses our great deals of development in the music

space.


This change can only happen when the youth realise that it is their prerogative to shape a more inclusive society and work towards that wholeheartedly. The youth needs to realise their important role in not only shaping a more free and more just justice system, but also to preserve the artistic expression of an artist.


Written by Vivaan Banerjee


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