According to the 88-page indictment obtained by CNN, lyrics from the rapper’s popular songs — including “Slime Sh*t,” “Original Slime Sh*t,” and “Anybody” — were used as examples of “overt acts, “some of which constitute racketeering. Prosecutors allege that Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, founded the Young Slime Life gang in late 2012 and was a key figure in various YSL activities. Rapper Gunna, real name Sergio Giovanni Kitchens, is also charged in the document. Williams was arrested at his home in Atlanta on Monday, police said.
Most notably, prosecutors said that in 2015, Williams rented an Infiniti Q50 sedan from Hertz, which was later used in the murder of a rival gang member. There are also references that paint Williams as the leader of the YSL gang, as two associates discussed how to obtain his permission to attempt to murder rapper YFN Lucci while he was incarcerated.
“I’m prepared to take them down,” “murder gang sh*t,” and “I never killed anybody but I got something to do with that body” are just a few of the dozens of lines referenced in the indictment.
Lyrics from other popular rappers referencing ties to Young Slime Life are also quoted in the indictment, along with social media posts.
Williams has been booked into the Fulton County jail and charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participation in criminal street gang activity.
“Left unchecked, it has the potential to silence a generation of artists who are exercising their First Amendment right to express themselves,” he wrote. “These are voices we should be encouraging, yet our criminal justice system has consistently looked for ways to punish them.”
Killer Mike also noted that other artists from genres other than rap are often celebrated for their dark lyrics, while rappers are vilified.
But Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis sees it differently.
“I believe in the First Amendment; it’s one of our most precious rights. However the First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using (lyrics) as evidence if it is such,” Willis said during a press conference Tuesday. “In this case, we put it as overt and predicate acts within the RICO count because we believe that’s exactly what it is.”