LL Cool J encouraging everyone to give a listen to the Look West podcast, Rap on Trial: Decriminalizing Artistic Expression. Under the recently enacted Decriminalizing Artistic Expression Act, written by Assemblymember Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), artists, particularly rap music artists, will not have their work used against them in a courtroom in California as a sole way of connecting them with a crime. In this episode of Look West, Assemblymember Jones-Sawyer sits down with Harvey Mason jr, CEO of the Recording Academy, GRAMMY – Award winning Hip-Hop icon and Founder and CEO of Rock the Bells LL COOL J, and Professor of Criminology, Law & Society Charis Kubrin. They discuss why this new law is so important, what it means for creative expression and how to avoid implicit bias in the treatment of artists, particularly young men of color.

“Once we open this door to start just going through everyone’s rap lyrics to try to find crime in there, I think that’s where we have the problem.”

–Bun B

“It signals to me that Jim Crow is very much alive … I think that in this country we love the nostalgic stories of how far we’ve come in transforming … and we have not. If we don’t remain vigilant about these things, we never will.”

— Tiny Doo

“It’s used as a tool to literally hang our boys. It is wrong, it is evil, it is vicious, it is maniacal and it is systemic.”

— Killer Mike

“Everyone has free speech (unless you’re a rapper).”

— Marco Pave