Young Thug & Gunna indicted on racketeering charges, YSL accused of being a gang
Atlanta rappers Young Thug and Gunna are among 28 people associated with Young Thug's Young Stoner Life label/collective that have been charged in a 56-court indictment with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participation in street gang activity. The indictmint defines YSL as a "criminal street gang" that began in 2012 and is affiliated with the national Bloods. The New York Times reports:
The rap star Young Thug, one of the most influential artists to emerge from Atlanta’s famously fertile hip-hop scene, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of gang involvement and conspiracy to violate the Georgia criminal racketeering law. The rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, was charged in a sweeping grand jury indictment that identified him and 27 other people as members of the same criminal street gang and charged some of them with violent crimes including murder and attempted armed robbery.
[...] The indictment alleges that Mr. Williams is a founder of Young Slime Life, a criminal street gang that began in Atlanta in 2012 and is affiliated with the national Bloods gang. Mr. Williams’s successful record label has been variously called YSL Records or Young Stoner Life Records; the label refers to its artists as part of the “Slime Family,” and a compilation album called “Slime Language 2” hit No. 1 on the charts in April 2021.
All 28 people named in the indictment were charged with conspiracy to violate the state Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is closely modeled on the federal law that has most famously been used against organized crime members. In 2014, Ms. Willis helped lead a controversial racketeering prosecution in which Atlanta public-school teachers were accused of cheating on standardized tests. She has also raised the possibility that Mr. Trump and some of his allies may have violated state RICO law in their alleged efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Pitchfork also cites court documents that allege several YSL-related songs, videos, social media posts, and lyrics that are deemed "an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy." This comes months after New York lawmakers introduced a bill that aimed to limit the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials.
Stay tuned for further updates.