On May 9, Young Thug was arrested and named in a 56-count grand jury indictment in Fulton County, Georgia including charges of racketeering and gang activity. It is now being reported that his song lyrics will be used as evidence in court.
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 evidence. This line from the 2021 song “Slime Sh*t” has been referenced by prosecutors: “I killed his man in front of his momma.”
Earlier this month, Fulton County DA Fani T. Willis said at a press conference, “I believe in the First Amendment. It’s one of our most precious rights. However, the First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using [music] as evidence if it is such.”
This is not the first time rap lyrics have been used as evidence.
Rapper Tekashi69’s lyrics were used in his 2018 trial, where it was discovered he was not a gang member, even though he said he was in his songs.
In 2016, rapper Tay K was convicted of murder, using a music video as evidence.
And in 2018, rapper Vonte Skinner’s lyrics were used in his attempted murder trial. His conviction was overturned when the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled the jury wouldn’t have found him guilty if they weren’t made to listen to the lyrics.
Born Jeffery Lamar Williams, the artist was charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and participation in street gang activity. According to jail records, the 30-year-old was booked into the Fulton County Jail.
The RICO charge cites an alleged incident dating back to Jan. 2013, and the gang activity offense is connected to allegations from May 2017, jail records show. Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, maintains that the “Solid” artist has not committed any crimes.