Rapper Young Thug’s lyrics are being used against him in gang trial

Rapper Young Thug’s racketeering trial in Atlanta, Georgia is getting more serious as prosecutors are now using the artist’s own lyrics against him.



The 32-year-old, born Jeffery Lamar Williams, is accused of co-founding a ‘criminal street gang’ in the form of his Young Slime Life group, ending with murder, assault, carjacking, drug dealing, and theft contributing to the overarching charge.

Racketeering refers to acquiring a business illegally, running a business with illegally derived finances, or using a business to break the law.

Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love told the jury in her opening statements that Williams oversaw dozens of crimes, leaving a ‘crater’ which ‘sucked in the youth, innocence and even the lives of some of its youngest members’. 

She added that Young Thug’s lyrics ‘bore a very eerie significance to real life’ referring to the gang’s alleged crimes dating back as far as 2013.

The attorney continued to cite extracts from a number of the defendant’s tracks.

The Fulton County prosecutors argue that the YSL (Young Stoner Life) label was not a true business but rather a gang – linked to Los Angeles’ notorious Bloods – with Williams and his codefendants moving ‘like a pack’.

Love also claimed that Williams was referred to by fellow members as ‘King Slime’.

The indictment includes a wide-ranging list of 181 crimes that prosecutors say were committed in 2013 as part of the alleged RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) conspiracy to further the gang’s interests.

In 2015, Williams rented an Infiniti sedan that five alleged gang members used when they shot and killed a rival gang member, the indictment says.

The rapper was arrested and charged in May last year but jury selection alone took nearly 10 months amid farcical pre-trial scenes that saw one attorney led out in handcuffs and Williams accused of buying drugs as he sat in the dock. 

Williams listened to Love describing how he became the ‘proclaimed leader’ of YSL after it split from the Cleveland-based ROC Crew in 2012.

She produced graphic photos of men allegedly killed by YSL members, as well as lyrics from Williams and his peers. 

If found guilty in the trial which is expected to last around six months, Williams could be sentenced to decades in prison. 

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