Young Thug and his affiliated rap collective, YSL, are facing a legal battle as prosecutors have made a motion to build their case around the controversial lyrics in their songs. As the trial unfolds, how these provocative lyrics are allowed to be used as evidence will set a groundbreaking legal precedent.
The motion argued on November 8th in the Fulton County Courtroom aims to prove through lyrical evidence that YSL is an organized criminal enterprise engaged in violent crime with Young Thug at the helm. Prosecutors presented a deck containing seventeen (17) song lyrics referencing acts of violence, criminal activities and allegiance to their crew.
Infamous Sylvia, whose continuous trial coverage has earned her exclusive interviews with Young Thug’s father and relatives of the six defendants, observed the all-day proceedings led by Judge Glanville. After a grueling 12 hours of proceedings, she reported the judge would allow the lyrics to be used “conditionally.”
“The prosecutors are going to have to layout the foundation for how the songs are going to be used,” Sylvia Tumusiime told SOHH. “This means before they can use the lyrics, they will have to explain the context of the lyrics, when they were written, the circumstances surrounding the lyrics and be able to match the song with the crime and real facts.”
Prosecutors are focusing on specific lyrics from the Atlanta native and other YSL affiliates as evidence of the existence and nature of the alleged gang. In songs like “Eww,” Young Thug raps:
“YSL won’t fold… Pick his ass off from the balcony, Walk into the house and change clothes.”
These lyrics suggest a sense of unity and involvement in criminal activities. Similarly, Young Thug’s track “Really Be My Slime” includes the lines:
“My nigga, really, they slime. And we committing them crimes.”
These lyrics potentially serve as proof of the enterprise’s criminal nature, as they glorify criminal acts.
Songs like “BAD BOYS,” featuring Juice WRLD and Young Thug, further reinforce the prosecutor’s lyrical evidence against YSL. Young Thug’s lyrics:
“I shot at his mommy, now he no longer mention me… You say you want smoke.”
These lyrics imply involvement in violent acts, contributing to the prosecutors’ argument. The song “Where You From” by Slime Life Shawty and Young Thug also emerges as a possible incriminating piece of evidence, with lines such as:
“Where you from? (I’m from Bleveland) Throw your set up (YSL)…The opps hate the crew, we getting this paper and we ducking cases… Free lil Shinny, he the one that had him running with that cannon.”
These lyrics suggest a connection to criminal behavior and highlight the gang-like activities of the alleged enterprise.
Additionally, Young Thug’s leadership within YSL is being put under scrutiny. In the song “Who” with Future and Young Thug, he raps:
“I’m at the top with bro though. Ooh, head honcho, hold up, kick in your mom door, shoot with the .44.”
These lyrics potentially implicate Young Thug as the leader of the alleged “YSL Gang” and suggest a willingness to engage in violent acts.
Similarly, in his track “Tick Tock,” he boasts:
“I was a capo in my hood way ‘fore a plaque or a mention. He can get hit with the ‘stension. Shot for the foe, but I missed it.”
These lyrics are being presented to reflect a position of authority and imply Young Thug’s involvement in violent encounters.
As this legal battle unfolds, it remains to be seen how the lyrics will affect the trial and the outcome for those facing the lawsuit.
The prosecution aims to prove that Young Thug and YSL operate as more than just a record label, presenting their lyrics as evidence of an organized gang enterprise.
The defense, on the other hand, argue that the lyrics are artistic expressions and do not reflect real-life activities. The defense also pointed to examples of white artists who sang about criminal behavior in their songs, but did not face prosecution.
The court will ultimately decide the credibility of these claims. Judge Glanville and the twelve jurors — seven black female, two white female, two black males and one white male, will hear opening statements on November 27th. The trial is expected to run for at least four months with over 200 witnesses testifying for the prosecution.
Young Stoner Life (YSL) is facing legal scrutiny as prosecutors argue that the rap lyrics of the label’s artists are evidence of criminal activity, shedding light on a unique legal debate. Additionally, YSL is alleged to have connections to a local street gang, adding further complexity to the case.
As the YSL trial unfolds, the contentious use of rap lyrics as evidence has become a focal point.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Wilis and her office assert that the lyrics from label artists are crucial in understanding the defendants’ mindset and intentions, offering valuable insights into the gang’s alleged criminal activities.
On the other hand, defense attorneys in the YSL RICO trial are challenging the use of rap lyrics as evidence. They plan to present expert testimonies highlighting the negative interpretation of rap lyrics by most Americans, emphasizing the presence of racial bias.
These experts aim to demonstrate that lyrics are often misconstrued and misinterpreted, particularly when used as evidence in criminal cases.
The YSL case raises broader questions about the admissibility of rap lyrics in court. Legal experts, like Georgia State College of Law professor Mo Ivory, explain:
“There’s a strong legal test of when a lyric can be used as evidence.”
This test evaluates the relevance, reliability, and probative value of lyrics in establishing the defendant’s guilt. The outcome of the YSL trial could potentially set a precedent for future cases involving rap lyrics as evidence.
The indictment against YSL also alleges that the label is an Atlanta-based violent street gang affiliated with the national Bloods gang. The prosecutors claim that individuals associated with YSL have carried out various violent crimes to collect money for the gang, bolster its reputation, and expand its power and territory.
The ongoing trial aims to hold these individuals accountable for their alleged involvement in killings, shootings, and carjackings.
With six defendants remaining in the YSL case, several others have been dismissed or have pleaded out.
The defendants’ names—Huey, Williams, Kendrick, Ryan, Nichols, and Stillwell—have been at the forefront of the legal proceedings. As the trial unfolds, the court will decide whether the lyrics presented as evidence hold validity for the allegations against YSL.
In a significant development in the YSL RICO case, a Fulton County judge has announced that jury seating will commence in November 2023. With Young Thug’s health concerns and lengthy pretrial detention, his legal team has persisted in advocating for his release on bond.
An attorney representing Young Thug has confirmed that Judge Ural Glanville, during a court session on Monday, October 30, announced his intention to commence jury selection on Wednesday, November 1.
This change in scheduling complies with Georgia’s speedy trial law, prompting an earlier start to the process. Jeffery Williams, known by his stage name, Young Thug, had initially requested a speedy trial shortly after his arrest in May 2022.
The court deliberated on whether this request needed to be fulfilled by November 6 at the latest, which subsequently prompted Judge Glanville to expedite the jury selection process.
The selection process, which commenced in January 2023, hit a roadblock in April when defense attorneys called it the “longest in Georgia history.” However, the process has reached a crucial point, with jury seating slated to begin this week.
Despite repeated attempts by his attorneys, the bond has been denied, leading to concerns about the rapper’s declining health and well-being during his prolonged stay at the Cobb County Jail. Sleep deprivation due to court appearances and inadequate nutrition have been cited as factors contributing to his deteriorating condition.
“This lifestyle has caused physical harm to Mr. Williams,” Young Thug’s lawyer said at the June 2023 hearing, adding that issues with his kidneys coupled with the environment in prison have caused him to gain weight.
Prosecutors have presented their case, alleging that Young Thug is the key figure within the alleged gang known as YSL (Young Slime Life). Referring to him as “King Slime,” in previous hearings, they claim to possess evidence of witness intimidation.
Conversely, Young Thug’s legal team vehemently denies these allegations, asserting that YSL is merely his record label, Young Stoner Life, and discrediting the existence of a street gang.
Despite the case’s progression, Young Thug’s co-defendants have pursued various paths. Some have accepted plea deals, resulting in their release from custody, while others have been dropped from the case altogether.
However, seven defendants out of the original 28 indicted individuals, remain set to go to trial together.
Young Thug has been hospitalized for two consecutive days due to severe chest pains. This health scare has further complicated his ongoing legal battles, causing delays in pretrial hearings. The Atlanta rapper’s lawyers attribute his condition to exhaustion and malnutrition, which he allegedly experienced during his time in jail. Meanwhile, co-defendant Lil Rod’s father continues to assert his son’s innocence.
Young Thug’s recent hospitalization for chest pains has raised concerns among fans and legal professionals alike. On May 12, his lawyers informed Judge Ural Granville that he could not proceed with pretrial hearings due to his health condition.
The rapper’s prolonged incarceration since his arrest on RICO charges has taken a toll on his well-being, with his legal team citing exhaustion and malnutrition as contributing factors.
The Slime Season artist’s hospitalization is the latest complex YSL RICO trial timeline event. This high-profile case has seen various developments, including the recent arrest of Young Thug’s brother, Unfoonk, on gun charges and the unfortunate passing of his older sister while he remained behind bars.
Co-defendant Lil Rod’s court appearance with marijuana hidden in the lining of his underwear added to the chaos surrounding the trial. Lil Rod’s father has passionately asserted his son’s innocence, claiming that he has been unjustly tied to a murder he did not commit, according to an exclusive interview with Infamous Sylvia. “This case has nothing to do with Rodelius Jr. That’s on my life,” he said. “They are using my son as a scapegoat!”
Young Thug’s legal team has filed a motion requesting that the rapper be granted bond as he remains incarcerated in a county jail. The motion cites health concerns, including limited access to healthy food. Thug’s attorney argues that conditions can be imposed to permit a bond to be set.
In the motion filed on April 24, Thug’s attorney Brian Steel listed several reasons his client needs to be released on bond. He claims that the rapper is “languishing” in the County Jail without access to healthy food options and has to rely on food with “zero health benefits,” like chocolate and chips.
The motion also states that Thug has had little access to fresh air and sunlight since May 2022, outside of when he’s transported to and from the courthouse, and exercise is limited due to the small cell. Steel claims the rapper is “sleep-deprived” due to only 5 hrs of sleep each night and must wake up between 3 am-4 am for court dates.
Before filing the latest motion, there was chaos in court during Young Thug’s YSL trial. On April 19th and 20th, the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, GA, was disrupted during the YSL trial jury selection. The incidents involved the arrest and charging of defendant Miles Farley’s attorney, Anastasios Manettas, Esq, and YSL Lil Rod’s arrest for marijuana possession during a strip search. Both incidents caused a delay in the trial proceedings.
Thug is also facing new allegations, with YSL Woody claiming in a recent video that the rapper is organizing a hit from behind bars. Additionally, Thug was accused of making a drug deal in court on April 7. He was allegedly caught on tape passing a note to his legal team with details of a drug transaction.