5:01 PM PT -- Ice Cube says other states should follow California's lead in blocking prosecutors from using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases.
We got Cube at LAX a couple hours after CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law, and he told us he wants to see the other 49 states follow suit.
Ice Cube says rap is just entertainment, comparing rap lyrics to Stephen King novels.
Gov. Gavin Newsom is making Cali the first state to block prosecutors from freely using rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases -- and the move has some high-profile supporters.
Newsom looked like he was hosting a hip hop award show Friday as he put his John Hancock on Assembly Bill 2799. The signing went down in an online forum that included Too $hort, Meek Mill, Killer Mike, Tyga, YG, E-40, Ty Dolla $ign. and some other industry heavyweights.
The new CA law prevents prosecutors from using rappers' lyrics in court as circumstantial evidence ... unless a judge first reviews and approves it. Before the Gov. signed, several of the rappers talked about why the bill was so important.
Cali homegrown MCs E-40 and Too $hort, in particular, stressed the need for artists to have the freedom to creatively express themselves ... and said they hoped the Golden State would start a trend.
A similar bill in New York faltered earlier this year in that state's legislature.
Veteran rapper and former convict X-Raided told TMZ Hip Hop he always believed Newsom’s progressive politics would make the difference in California.
The Strange Music artist spent 26 years in prison for his role in a 1992 murder, but said he believes he would have been acquitted if prosecutors had been barred from referencing his lyrics.
This has become a hot-button issue since Gunna, Young Thug and several other YSL rappers were indicted in a Georgia RICO case ... with prosecutors raising their lyrics to support some of the charges.