Meek Mill Expresses Fear Over Rap Lyrics Being Used As Evidence In Court Following Young Thug Case Ruling

The Philly rapper also voiced his support for Thugger.

Last week, Young Thug’s RICO trial made headlines when it was ruled by the presiding judge that the Atlanta rapper’s lyrics could be introduced as evidence related to crimes he and five others are accused of committing.

The move has many in the hip-hop world reacting with disappointment, and some, fear. Meek Mill is one of the rappers expressing concern and did so publicly.

“Locking us [up] for rapping got me scared to do [an] interview. Free Jeff. Free Lucci,” the Philly rapper tweeted Friday (November 10).

In a formal ruling on Thursday morning, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville denied Young Thug’s request to ban the lyrics entirely and granted a motion by prosecutors to preliminarily admit them. Glanville noted that prosecutors would still need to establish why they were using them and that Steel could object during the trial, which is slated to begin with opening statements on November 27.

According to Billboard, Judge Glanville held a hearing about the use of lyrics as evidence on Wednesday – a controversial practice that many claim is against the Atlanta rapper’s First Amendment rights and has drawn heavy backlash from the music industry and efforts by U.S. lawmakers to stop it.

“They are targeting the right to free speech, and that’s wrong,” defense attorney Brian Steel said while blasting prosecutors. “They are saying that just because he his singing about it, he is now part of a crime.”

It’s an argument that Judge Glanville largely rejected, claiming, “They’re not prosecuting your clients because of the songs they wrote,” according to the publication. “They’re using the songs to prove other things your clients may have been involved in. I don’t think it’s an attack on free speech.”

Prosecutor Michael Carlson reportedly urged Judge Glanville to avoid sweeping questions about free speech, claiming the actual issue before the court was not rap lyrics but “proclamations of violence” instead.

“The issue here is not rap,” Carlson said of the lyrics, which he claims are “highly relevant in this case.” “This is not randomly the state attempting to bring in Run DMC from the 80s. This is specific. These are party admissions. They just happen come in the form of lyrics.”

Young Thug, Gunna and several other alleged members of YSL were indicted in May 2022. Gunna and several defendants eventually reached plea deals. Only Thug and five others will face a jury.

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