Indictment Alleges Young Thug's Lyrics Reinforce That He Conspired To Participate In Criminal Gang Activity

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Young Thug has been indicted on multiple charges and allegations, and 27 other associates of his record label Young Stoner Life (YSL) were also named in the indictment, according to The Guardian. The 56-count indictment alleges that the “Hot” rapper’s lyrics and music video were “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was taken into custody after his home was raided, Complex reports. Jail records indicate that he’s been charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupted Organizations Act (RICO), and that he has allegedly participated in criminal street gang activity.

According to WSB-TV Atlanta, authorities believe the rapper conspired with others within YSL to illegally obtain money and property through racketeering activity. They also allege that the rapper and his associates participated in the enterprise through racketeering activity. Williams is currently being held at the Fulton County Jail, and appeared in court Tuesday morning.

Gunna was also named in the indictment. The “WUNNA” rapper, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, was indicted on a single count of violating the RICO act, but he has not been taken into custody as of Tuesday morning.

The indictment alleges that Williams is a founder of Young Slime Life, a street gang started in Atlanta in 2012 that has ties to the Bloods gang, The New York Times reports.

Connecting the YSL record label and gang, the indictment argues that lyrics and music videos released by YSL were actively “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,” according to WSB-TV.

The legal document alleges that both Williams’ and Kitchens’ lyrics perpetuate a criminal agenda, and also alleges that the latter’s YSL-branded jewelry is indicative of illegal activity.

Williams and his fellow YSL associates’ newfound legal problems touch on the longstanding issue of rap lyrics and visuals being used as evidence in criminal cases.

According to the Times, lawmakers in the ’80s and ’90s thought music by rappers was responsible for the rising civil unrest and violence in the country during the time.

Erik Nielson, a professor at the University of Richmond who studies hip-hop culture, told The New York Times that it’s a hysteria lawmakers catch every few years, mostly due to their inability to reduce crime in certain metropolitan areas.

“We go through cycles, moral panics, if it’s the Tipper Gore era, in the ’90s, or now,” he said. “It’s a convenient scapegoat for authorities who are not getting the job done.”

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