The Atlanta rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, is facing a trial later this month on charges of participating in a violent criminal street gang and racketeering. A judge has ruled that prosecutors can use his rap lyrics as evidence against him, despite the objections of his defense attorneys.
"Young Thug was indicted last year along with more than two dozen others for allegedly being part of a gang called Young Slime Life, or YSL, which is affiliated with the national Bloods gang. Prosecutors claim that Young Thug used his music and social media posts to promote the gang, which was involved in various crimes, such as killings, shootings, and carjacking"
Young Thug’s lawyers argued that his rap lyrics are protected by the First Amendment and that they are not relevant to the crimes he is accused of. They also said that admitting his lyrics as evidence would be unfairly prejudicial and would confuse the jury
However, the judge disagreed and said that prosecutors can introduce 17 sets of lyrics that they have identified as long as they can show that they are related to the alleged crimes. The judge said that the lyrics are not rap lyrics, but gang lyrics, and that they are party admissions that show the defendant’s motive and intent
The use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials has been controversial and criticized by civil rights groups and music industry professionals. They argue that rap is a form of artistic expression that often uses metaphors, exaggerations, and fictional narratives and that it should not be taken literally or used to incriminate the artists.
Young Thug is a successful rapper who has his own music label, Young Stoner Life, and has collaborated with artists such as Childish Gambino, Drake, and Kanye West. He is also known for his eccentric style and personality. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is expected to go to trial on November 27.