Judge orders Rapper and Parolee BG to get approval from the government for future lyrics

A US federal judge has refused prosecutors’ request to prohibit the maker of the 1990s rap classic Bling Bling “from promoting and glorifying future gun violence/murder” in songs and at concerts while on supervised release from prison, saying such a restriction could violate his constitutional right to free speech.

But the artist known as BG must provide the government with copies of any songs he writes moving forward, ahead of their production or promotion – and, if they are deemed to be inconsistent with his goals of rehabilitation, prosecutors could move to toughen the terms dictating his supervised release.

ABC Reports: Judge Susie Morgan ruled that the creator of the song “Bling Bling” and former member of the label Cash Money Records, will need to submit all new song lyrics to the court and prosecutors before publishing them while on supervised release, according to court records.

To address the legitimate concerns expressed by the Government, the Court will impose a special condition that the Defendant provide the United States Probation Office with a copy of the lyrics of any song he writes, in advance of his production or promotion of such song,” according to Morgan’s order. “The Government may, if it deems necessary and appropriate, file another motion for leave to file a rule to show cause why the Defendant’s conditions of supervised release should not be modified because the Defendant’s conduct is inconsistent with the goals of rehabilitation.”

Music industry giants including Megan Thee Stallion, Jay-Z, Coldplay and Christina Aguilera have condemned prosecutors’ practice of using rap lyrics as evidence in US criminal courts, saying it disproportionately targets Black artists. But prosecutors have generally not cared to halt the tactic, as the case of BG, whose legal name is Christopher Dorsey, demonstrates. (The Guardian )

In addition, people on supervised release are generally required to “refrain from … associating unnecessarily with” those who have prior felony convictions, among other conditions, according to officials.

Per the LA Times, that supervision became an issue when he began rapping again after he got out of prison for a gun charge. He held a concert in Las Vegas in February with rapper Boosie Badazz, who has multiple felony convictions. Those under supervised release are generally required to refrain from associating with convicted felons, and BG was arrested for allegedly not obtaining permission to work with Boosie.

The Guardian reports “The mixed ruling came on Friday from US district court judge Susie Morgan in the latest development to a case that prompted discussions in some circles about an American musician’s rights to free expression under his country’s constitution – as well as his need to financially support himself – with federal authorities’ obligation to enforce the supervised prison release plan which he accepted.”