Young Thug’s Charges: How Rap Lyrics Will Be Used As Evidence in Court

Young Thug is currently on trial in a groundbreaking RICO case, where the rapper is accused of a series of crimes along with over two dozen individuals. The Atlanta rapper is easily considered one of the most influential musicians of this generation. Fans are worried about the future of the Grammy winner’s music career and the impact of this case on his life.

Who is Young Thug? 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – MARCH 25: Rapper Young Thug attends the game between Golden State Warriors and the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena on March 25, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Young Thug is the stage name of American rapper and singer Jeffery Lamar Williams. He was born on August 16, 1991, in Atlanta, Georgia. He first gained recognition in 2011 for his mixtape “I Came From Nothing.” Young Thug is known for his unique vocal style, which often incorporates elements of singing and falsetto, and for his experimentation with fashion and style. 

Young Thug began his career in Atlanta’s underground hip-hop scene, releasing a series of mixtapes in the early 2010s. In 2013, he signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Brick Squad Records and released the mixtape “1017 Thug” which helped him gain a wider audience. In 2014, he released the mixtape “Slime Season” which received critical acclaim and helped him establish himself as one of the most promising young artists in hip-hop. 

Throughout his career, Young Thug has released several successful mixtapes and collaborated with a wide range of other artists. He has worked with the likes of Travis Scott, Post Malone, Future, and many others, helping to further establish his reputation as a versatile and influential artist. In 2017, he launched his own label, YSL Records, which stands for Young Stone Life, and has a roster of over 12 artists.

Young Thug has been praised for his unique vocal style and his ability to create catchy, melodic hooks, but has also been criticized for his often-incoherent lyrics and his over-the-top, extravagant fashion sense. Despite this, he has a huge fan following and his music is loved by many people. 

In 2018, Young Thug released his label’s first compilation album, “Slime Language.” He followed up with his solo album, “So Much Fun,” in 2019, which had a successful run on the charts and received positive reviews from critics. He took over the charts again with 2020’s “Slime & B,” a collaboration album with R&B singer Chris Brown. He also dropped many feature songs, collaborations, and a slew of chart-topping albums. 

Young Thug continued with his successful string of releases in 2021 with “Slime Language 2,” and his highly-anticipated solo album, “PUNK.”

Young Thug’s Charges

Over the years, Young Thug, real name Jeffery Lamar Williams, has continued working hard on his music and being a popular and influential figure in the hip-hop scene. He has been arrested multiple times throughout his career. The reasons for his arrests have varied, but some of the most notable include: 

In 2015, Young Thug was arrested on charges of making terroristic threats. According to the police report, he made threats to shoot up a mall in Atlanta. He was also arrested on a separate warrant for failing to appear in court on a previous charge. 

In 2016, Young Thug was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapon possession. According to the police, he was in possession of meth, weed, and a handgun during a traffic stop. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. 

In 2018, Young Thug was arrested for an alleged probation violation. He was on probation for a previous drug charge, and the violation was for failing to report to probation and failing a drug test. 

In 2019, the “Slime Language 2” artist was arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court. He had an outstanding warrant for a felony drug charge and was arrested while he was performing on stage. 

RICO Trial

Following his last arrest in May 2021, Young Thug was hit with a series of gang-related and racketeering charges. The “Punk” emcee, rapper Gunna, and 27 other individuals were arrested and charged in a 50-plus count Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act indictment. The accusers are currently on trial for a series of crimes that took place since 2013.

The prosecution has used song lyrics from “Slime Langauge 2,” and his 2018 hit, “Anybody,” as evidence to build their case against him. In open court, a Fulton County judge read lyrics from the track “Slime S—,” where Thug raps, “I’m not new to this, hey, I’m so true to this, hey/ done put a whole slime on a hunnid licks.” The song also mentions selling drugs and interactions with police. His track “Ski” is also reportedly being used in their case.

Prosecutors have used Thug’s lyrics to argue that they further explain the purpose behind the alleged RICO conspiracy.

According to a reporter from WSBTV, the indictment stated, “The objectives of the conspiracy included but were not limited to:  Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power, and territory of the enterprise through acts of racketeering activity including murder, assault, and threats of violence.”

It continued, “Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power, and territory of the enterprise by the posting of messages, images, videos, and songs, demonstrating allegiance to the enterprise and a willingness to engage in violence on its behalf.”

Prior to the trial, 300 Entertainment’s Kevin Liles and Atlantic Records’ COO Julie Greenwald spoke up regarding Thug’s defense, arguing Black and other artists of color are harmed by First Amendment freedoms. The duo launched a petition to protect creative work from being used in criminal cases. The application dubbed “Rap Music on Trial: Protect Black Art,” intends to pass federal and state legislation limiting prosecutors’ abilities to utilize “creative and artistic expression as evidence against defendants in criminal trials.”

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