Tory Lanez Attorney Argues AK-47 Tattoo Is A Tribute To Tupac: "He, Too, Was Misunderstood"

The attorney says Tory's AK-47 tattoo is an "homage to his idol Tupac Shakur."

BYAron A.
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A California bill that passed days after Tory Lanez's conviction is the cornerstone for his appeal. The Canadian artist’s legal team filed an appeal for a new trial in the Megan Thee Stallion shooting case. Per Meghan Cuniff, they cited errors allowed by the judge that included evidence infringing on his creative rights. Jose Baez, the rapper’s attorney, wrote that the judge "erroneously allowed" a tattoo of a gun into evidence which portrayed the rapper in an inaccurate light.

Baez explained that prosecutors “painted defendant as a gun-wielding career criminal” when introducing a photo of the rapper’s tattoo. He said that the tattoo of the firearm should not have been shown to jurors in the first place. They argued that laws in California prevent creative expression from entering the court. They argued that the AK-47 tattoo serves as an “homage to his idol Tupac Shakur.” “Mr. Shakur used his music and tattoos to discuss socio-political issues affecting the black community in the nineties,” the filing reads. “Yet, he, too, was misunderstood.”

Tory Lanez’s Homage To Tupac

Baez argues that the prosecutors “revealed their true motive” when they showed jurors a shirtless Tory with the gun tattoo. Just nine days after the jury found Tory Lanez all three counts, California law, AB 2799 went into effect. In hip-hop, specifically, the bill carries huge significance because it restricts the use of rap lyrics in criminal court cases. The late Drakeo The Ruler found him prosecuted, largely due to their creative expression rather than hard evidence.

Tory’s legal team also said his music would’ve been presented in cross-examination if he had chosen to testify. Prosecutors planned to play a portion of his “Cap” music video. The clip in question shows Tory cutting a horse's leg off with a cleaver. His team believes that his right to testify was “impermissibly chilled” due to the possibility of impeachment evidence entering the trial. Since the California legislature already passed AB 2799, they said he should’ve been allowed to take the stand without his creative expression being used against him. We'll continue to keep you posted on anymore updates surrounding the Tory Lanez trial.

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About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.