"Bling Bling" rapper BG required to get government approval for all future songs

Apologies, I slightly misread part of your post.

I’m not saying it isn’t censorship. I am saying (incidentally, as a non-USian who believes that free speech is not absolute - see Karl Popper, for example) that - as reported - in this case, for the purposes of his rehabilitation, certain conditions have been imposed (let the court see lyrics he plans to publish) and - as reported - it is not clear if he is free to publish them and accept the consequences for his parole, or not actually free to publish them.

It actually gives him more choice if interpreted as the former (but who knows). He can be told in advance: publish that and it’s a breach of your parole terms - your choice.

Again, I’m not saying it’s right.

Thought experiment: let’s say it was all about fascist/nazi type crimes committed and for which he was jailed. Would it be ok for the court to impose similar conditions on the person re their future writings?

Anyway, I’ve noted the reported ‘facts’ and the logical holes they display. I don’t think these were appropriate parole terms, but parolees do need to exhibit rehabilitation, so the court’s lack of imagination as to how to do that (not least when presented with a black artist in a specific genre, and making the leap from words to acts in a way they would not do with other parolees) is a key issue here.

Over and out.

I’m sorry as well.

In your original post you said it may or may not be censorship, and I read that as “perhaps it’s not censorship,” but I see now that you were saying something more like “be that as it may.”

I am also sorry for trying to illustrate why it was censorship with a ham-fisted reductio ad absurdum about sandwiches. That was not helpful.

That said…

I believe that this is a false choice. If you will be punished for doing something, then you are not at all free to do it. In North Korea, you are free to criticize the government as long as you accept the consequences, but that freedom is no freedom at all. (I should have led with this one instead of sandwiches.)

ETA: I agree with you on principle about parole terms, but I do also believe that freedom of artistic expression is not something that should unilaterally be stripped from a person. I am also not a free speech absolutist, but I would not seek to limit what a person says just because they were in prison. He was not in prison for hate speech.


Thanks. I did think we were probably on - or very close to - the same page.

But glorifications of or exhortations to violence are in or close to the grey area of what people should be free to indulge in or be punished for. I accept you may disagree on that point in principle, and in practice, of course, context is everything.

In the UK, there are specific laws against incitement to violence. Whether his lyrics would fall foul of such a law here, I am not in a position to judge.

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Indeed, I have read the article.

prosecutors conceded he “was granted authority … to perform in some of these instances” when he had been accused of not having permission, something they blamed on an apparent “communication lapse”

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I think that we’re probably imagining very different kinds of lyrics as well.

I quite like rap, and the lyrics are often so over the top that I can’t imagine anyone taking them seriously as an exhortation to violence.

Then again, I can also see how if he wrote a song about how he’s going to kill the judges and prosecutors and mentions them by name, that would rightly put his parole in jeopardy.

I would still err on the side of not having to run everything by the government first, though.


… if the threat of more prison is not a “power to prevent” then words have little meaning :roll_eyes:



How is “you will go to jail if you write lyrics the government doesn’t approve of” not censorship?


Compare and contrast with Ammon Bundy, a rural, right-wing white man who led an armed occupation of federal property, is a serial arsonist, and is, by any objective assessment, a domestic terrorist. Who is free to continue to do domestic terrorism and say whatever nonsense he wants in pursuit of instigating anti-government violence.

How’s that for consistency?

See above. They are allowed to say or do anything they want. Only Black men are censored as part of their parole terms, apparently.

See above. WTF are you on about? In practice, enforcement of gun laws and the censorship under discussion are determined by race in the US.


Or The Chicks with “Earl Must Die”


Oh, FFS:

It is censorship, rooted in flagrant racism.

Denying that, or “trying to see ‘both’ sides” is to be passively complicit:

“Well, it isn’t happening to me, so it’s not really a problem.”


See Jon Ossoff GIF by Election 2020


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