Summer Jam: Young Thug Makes Surprise Virtual Visit From Jail

The rapper urged concertgoers to sign the ‘Protect Black Art’ petition backed by music executive Kevin Liles.

Rapper Young Thug surprised Hot97 Summer Jam concertgoers with a virtual visit from jail and took an opportunity to thank his fans for their support while behind bars on a RICO indictment.

According to TMZ, Thug shared a message at the MetLife Stadium on Sunday (June 12), asking those watching to help get the word out about the Protect Black Art initiative. This law might prevent prosecutors from using rappers’ lyrics in court against them.

“I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us,” the Slime Season rapper opened his message. “You know, your support during this time means a lot to us, ya know.”

He added, “You know, this isn’t just about me or YSL; I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom.”

“Everybody, please sign the ‘Protect Black Art’ petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”

RELATED: Kevin Liles Launches Rap Music On Trial Petition, Amid Young Thug RICO Indictment

Several rappers have publicly vowed their support following the YSL (Young Slime Life) indictment, with artist Meek Mill being the most recent entertainer to speak out.

Music executive Kevin Liles, who was also in attendance at Summer Jam, has started a petition hoping that the use of lyrics within hip hop music will be decriminalized since some prosecutors are attempting to cite them as confessions to crimes in courtrooms across the country.

The “Rap Music On Trial: Protect Black Art” petition states that the practice of using rap lyrics on trial is not only a “violation of First Amendment protections for speech and creative expression,” it also “ punishes already marginalized communities and silences their stories of family, struggle, survival, and triumph.”

RELATED: Young Thug’s Lyrics To Be Used As Evidence In Court

The initial goal was for 5,000 signatures; however, the petition is now pushing for 35,000 signatures after exceeding its goal with 27,711 as of Tuesday (June 14).

The petition comes on the heels of the Atlanta Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act involving rapper Young Thug, Gunna, and several artists under his Young Stoner Life Records. They are facing more than 50 allegations.

WSB-TV reports that the indictment states that Young Thug and YSL members engaged in activities including:

  • Preserving, protecting, and enhancing the reputation, power, and territory of the enterprise through acts of racketeering activity, including murder, assault, and threats of violence;
  • 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;
  • Maintaining armed individuals ready and willing to preserve, protect and enhance the reputation, power, and territory of the enterprise through the use of violence;
  • Obtaining money, weapons, and other property through acts of racketeering activity, including robbery, theft, and the unlawful sale and distribution of drugs;
  • Obstructing law enforcement investigations and court proceedings through witness intimidation and attacks upon law enforcement officers.

According to ABC News, lyrics from “Anybody” and tracks from YSL’s 2020 compilation album, like  “Slime Language 2,” “Take it to Trial,” “Ski,” and “Slatty,” will be used as evidence. This line from the 2021 song “Slime Sh*t” has been referenced by prosecutors: “I killed his man in front of his momma.”

Bail has been denied for both Young Thug and Gunna. They may be behind bars until at least 2023.

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