June 13, 2024

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I used Young Thug’s lyrics as evidence in the gang indictment

I used Young Thug's lyrics as evidence in the gang indictment

According to the 88-page indictment obtained by CNN, lyrics from the rapper’s popular songs — including “Slime Sh*t”, “Original Slime Sh*t” and “Anybody” — were used as examples of “overt acts, “Some of them constitute blackmail. Prosecutors allege that Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, founded the Young Slime Life gang in late 2012 and was a key figure in many of YSL’s activities. Rapper Juna, real name Sergio Giovanni Kitchens, was also accused in the document. Police said Williams was arrested at his home in Atlanta on Monday.

In particular, prosecutors said that in 2015, Williams rented an Infiniti Q50 sedan from Hertz, which was later used to kill a member of a rival gang. There are also references that paint Williams as the leader of the YSL gang, with two of his aides discussing how to obtain his permission to attempt to kill rapper YFN Lucci while in prison.

“I’m ready to take them down,” “Murder Gang,” and “I’ve never killed anyone but have something to do with this body” are just a few of the dozens of lines referenced in the indictment.

The indictment also featured words from other famous rappers that mention links with Young Slime Life, along with social media posts.

Williams was booked into the Fulton County Jail and charged with conspiracy to violate the Innovator’s Influential and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participating in criminal street gang activity.

This isn’t the first time criminal prosecutors have used the lyrics. In 2019, prosecutors questioned Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine about the lyrics to his song “GUMMO,” asking if she Include threats to competitors. In 2017, prosecutors attempted to use Governor Drico’s “Flex Free Style” as evidence He plotted to kill another rapper.
Not everyone supports letting prosecutors use song lyrics as evidence. In “Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America” ​​by Eric Nelson and Andrea L. Dennis, Rapper Mike Keeler argues That rap as an art form is a safe space where raw emotions can and should be expressed.

“If left unchecked, it will likely silence a generation of artists exercising their First Amendment right to express themselves,” he wrote. “These are voices we should encourage, but our criminal justice system is constantly looking for ways to punish them.”

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Mike Keeler also noted that other artists of genres other than rap are often celebrated for their bold lyrics, while rappers are vilified.

Last year, New York state senators Submit the bill “Rap is on Trial,” which would prevent art – including song lyrics – from being used as evidence in criminal cases. Jay-Z, Mick Mill, Big Sean and Kelly Rowland all support Bill, as did other musicians.

But Fulton County District Attorney Fannie Willis sees it differently.

“I believe in the First Amendment; it is one of our most valuable rights. However, the First Amendment does not protect people from plaintiffs using (words) as evidence if that is the case,” Willis said during a press conference on Tuesday. “In this case, we’re putting it as public business and a predicate in the RICO number because we think that’s exactly what it is.”