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On Monday, famous rapper Young Thug, from Atlanta was arrested on gang-related charges. The arrest came after he was identified in a 56-count grand jury indictment in Georgia.
The arrest of the Young Thug was made at his home located in the Buckhead neighborhood north of downtown Atlanta. He is currently an inmate at the Fulton County Jail.
Young Thug was part of 28 individuals that are accused of having association with the Young Slime Life (YSL) gang based out of Atlanta. Authorities say he was a founder of the gang in 2012. Their charges are conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, (RICO). YSL is also the name of Young Thug’s recording imprint, Young Stoner Life. Many of the charges against him are related to the label.
RICO cases have been used to stop criminal enterprises such as the Mafia.
Young Thug’s Charges
Jeffrey Lamar Williams (Young Thug), who is 30 years old, is being accused of two counts of partaking in gang activity in the streets and conspiring to violate the RICO Act.
The charges of conspiracy date back to 2013 and the gang activity charges go back to 2018, according to the jail records.
On Monday, Brian Steel, Young Thug’s lawyer, told ABC News that the rapper has not committed any violation of the law. He explained that they will fight the case ethically, zealously, and legally.
Steel stated that the rapper is in custody at this time and soon the court will schedule a hearing to contemplate bond.
Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, known as Gunna, is another rapper based in Atlanta, who was also identified during the indictment for allegedly conspiring to violate the RICO Act. If the rapper has been taken into custody is unclear at this time.
The indictment states that part of the objectives of the conspiracy was protecting, enhancing, and preserving the power, territory, and reputation of the gang by doing racketeer actions like assault, murder, and threatening violence.
Authorities explain that Young Thug is a founder of the YSL gang that formed at the end of 2012. Charging documentation also states that he claims that he is affiliated with the Bloods gang as well.
The indictment explains that Young Thug made the YSL gang well-known by mentioning it on social media and in his music. The document also mentions numerous of Gunna’s and Young Thug’s music videos and song lyrics that consist of mentioning the gang and/or using YSL symbols.
Referring to hip-hop artists’ lyrics in alleged criminal matters has been happening for some time. The practice has received criticism from people that advocate freedom of speech. Artists have argued that music is an art that should be protected.
Young Thugs’ Record Label
Young Thug announced the Young Stoner Life record label in 2016. The label is an imprint of 300 Entertainment. Over 12 artists, including Gunna, are signed to the label.
Young Thug rose to the spotlight nationally in 2014 with his music such as “Stoner.” He is an influential hip-hop artist who worked with other artists such as Drake, Kanye West, Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, and T.I. Young Thug is also a Grammy Award winner.
A law was recently brought up in the New York Senate that restricts evidence consisting of a defendant’s artistic or creative expressions being submitted against them in criminal matters.
The law called “Rap Music on Trial” was supported in January by famous hip-hop artists like Big Sean, Jay-Z, Fat Joe, and Meek Mill. The artists wrote a letter that expressed that they support the law.
Written by Marrissa Kay
ABC News: Rappers Young Thug, Gunna hit with gang-related charges in sweeping indictment; by Deena Zaru
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: NEW DETAILS: Young Thug arrested in Atlanta, named in gang indictment; by Henri Hollis
NPR: Rapper Young Thug is arrested on gang-related charges