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Christian Eede
17 January 2024, 15:37

Giggs shares support for Art Not Evidence campaign to stop use of rap lyrics as evidence in court

The rapper has said his own lyrics were used as evidence for a crime that he did not commit

Giggs shares support for Art Not Evidence campaign to stop use of rap lyrics as evidence in court

Giggs has thrown his support behind the Art Not Evidence campaign, which was set up in opposition to the use of creative activities (such as lyrics and music videos) as evidence in criminal trials.

In an Instagram post, which also includes a short video, the UK rapper said: "In 2012, I spent seven months on remand in HMP Belmarsh for a firearms charge for a crime I did not commit with no evidence against me at all.

"The trial became all about my lyrics. This is ONE of the reasons why I am extremely passionate about [Art Not Evidence]. I have lived / experienced / seen it first-hand."

Giggs concluded his Instagram post by encouraging people to add their name to a petition set up by Art Not Evidence which aims to "keep creative expression out of court".

After being acquitted at trial on the charge that he had been held on in 2012, the rapper was released from custody with no further action taken. The prosecution, however, quoted the lyrics of Giggs' tracks as evidence to make an additional case against the rapper and allege that he was affiliated with a gun crime.

In the video which Giggs added to his Instagram post, he said of such trials: "This is judging if someone is going to face life in prison or even just one day. Rap music or art is not always 100% facts. You can't prove something is 100% facts from listening to a song."

He added that his 2011 track 'Wolf' was prominently brought up by the prosecution in the 2012 case against him.

Art Not Evidence was launched in 2023 amid a backdrop of UK police cracking down on the sharing of UK drill music and accompanying videos. Figures such as Annie Mac and Labour MP Nadia Whittome were among the early supporters of the campaign.

In June 2022, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service ruled that UK drill music videos can now be used as evidence for crimes in court.

In October, it was reported that UK drill content removal requests on TikTok from the UK's Metropolitan Police had increased by 366% since 2020.

Read DJ Mag's July 2023 feature on the impact of the police's crackdown on UK drill music and videos here.