/  06.13.2022

Last night (June 12), Hot 97 hosted its annual Summer Jam at New Jersey’s Met Life stadium. There were performances from Fivio Foreign, Lil Durk, Lil Baby, City Girls, Pusha T, Roddy Ricch, Shenseesa, DreamDoll, Saucy Santana, Drewski, B-Lovee, Dougie B, Nardo Wick and more. Remy Ma, Papoose, Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, Jim Jones and Juelz Santana came together for a DJ Kay Slay tribute. There were surprises from Cardi B, Meek Mill, Coi Leray, Chloe Bailey and more.

Young Thug and Gunna were scheduled to performed but couldn’t be present because they were arrested in Georgia on RICO charges last month (May). Their arrest pushed Summer Jam’s biggest theme of the night which was to “Protect Black Art.” This movement helps shed light on the Rap Music on Trial bill aka Senate Bill S7527 which would limit how song lyrics can be used as evidence in the court room.

Young Thug’s presence was felt though as he sent a special message from Cobb County jail to his fans that was played through the big screen. Thug thanked fans for supporting him and urged everyone in the crowd to sign the “Protect Black Art” petition. New York recently limited the use of lyrics in court but the rest of the United States is still using lyrics against Black artists.

“I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us,” Young Thug began. “You know, your support during this time means a lot to us, ya know.”

He continued, “You know, this isn’t just about me or YSL, I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom,” he continued. “Everybody please sign the ‘Protect Black Art’ petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”

 

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The petition was launched last week by 300 Entertainment Co-Founder Kevin Liles and Atlantic Records COO Julie Greenwald. At the time of this article, the petition has surpassed over 12,000 signatures.

Meek Mill — who joined Lil Durk on stage during his performance — also shared the importance of the “Protect Black Art” campaign with the crowd.

 

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