Young Thug lyrics used as evidence in gang prosecution

According to the 88-page indictment obtained by CNN, the lyrics of the rapper’s popular songs — including “Slime Sh*t,” “Original Slime Sh*t” and “Anybody” — were used as “Blatant conduct,” some of which amounted to racketeering. Prosecutors allege that Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, founded the gang Young Slime Life in late 2012 and was a key figure in various YSL activities. Rapper Gunna, real name Sergio Giovanni Kitchens, was also charged in the filing. Williams was arrested Monday at his Atlanta home, police said.

Most notably, prosecutors said Williams rented an Infiniti Q50 sedan from Hertz in 2015, which was later used to murder a rival gang member. There are also references to Williams as the leader of the YSL gang, as two accomplices discussed getting his permission to try to murder rapper YFN Lucci while he was incarcerated.

“I’m going to kill them,” “Murder gang shit” and “I never killed anyone, but I had something to do with that body” are just a few of the dozens of lines mentioned in the indictment.

The indictment also cites lyrics and social media posts by other popular rappers with ties to Young Slime Life.

Williams has been booked into the Fulton County Jail and charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participation in criminal street gang activity.

This isn’t the first time criminal prosecutors have used lyrics. In 2019, prosecutors asked Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine if the lyrics of his song “GUMMO” including threats to competitors. In 2017, prosecutors tried to use ruler Drakeo’s “Flex Freestyle” as evidence against him Conspiracy to murder another rapper.
Not everyone supports allowing prosecutors to use lyrics as evidence. In “Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America” ​​by Erik Nielson and Andrea L. Dennis, rapper killer mike thinks Rap as an art form is a safe space where raw emotions can and should be expressed.

“If left unchecked, it has the potential to silence a generation of artists who are exercising their First Amendment rights to express themselves,” he wrote. “These are the voices we should be encouraging, but our criminal justice system has been Find a way to punish them.”

Killer Mike also noted that artists in genres other than rap are often praised for their dark lyrics, while rappers are maligned.

Last year, the New York State Senator introduced the bill “Rap at Trial” will prevent art – including lyrics – from being used as evidence in criminal cases. Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Big Sean and Kelly Rowland All support The bill, so did other musicians.

But Fulton County District Attorney Fanny Willis sees it differently.

“I believe in the First Amendment; it’s one of our most precious rights,” Willis said at a news conference Tuesday. “But the First Amendment doesn’t protect people from using[the lyrics]as evidence. “In this case, we see it as disclosure and predicate behavior in the RICO count, because we believe that is what it is.”

Source link