The trial of rapper Young Thug, accused of organized crimes with a gang, begins Monday

Is rapper Young Thug a member of a gang, is his music label a front for criminal activity, and are his song lyrics evidence that can be used against him? The trial of this figure of contemporary hip-hop, tried with 13 other people, begins Monday.

Atlanta native Young Thug and his co-defendants were indicted last spring by a Georgia state grand jury for their alleged membership in a branch of the “Bloods” gang identified as “Young Slime Life,” or YSL. Initials that correspond to those of his label founded in 2016, Young Stoner Life Records.

The fourteen protagonists are tried for criminal conspiracy with a view to extortion of funds. In support of this accusation: alleged acts of murder, drug trafficking, car theft with violence…


Young Thug is on trial for criminal association and participation in the criminal activities of a street gang.

His arrest in May came as a shock to Atlanta’s influential hip-hop scene, of which the 31-year-old rapper, who has collaborated with the biggest names in the genre, is a figure. Jeffery Williams, his real name, grew up in the poor neighborhoods of Atlanta. Like 2 Chainz, he caught the eye of Gucci Mane, who signed him in 2013.

His singles “Stoner” and “Danny Glover” then brought him fame. Tattooed up to his face, he is known for his psychedelic and flamboyant style, and his rhymes tinged with voice crackles make him one of the best representatives of the trap current.

Words as evidence

The case is also iconic because prosecutors used as evidence lyrics from some of Young Thug’s songs, those of fellow rapper Gunna – who pleaded guilty – as well as the lines of a posthumous song by Juice WRLD. , died in 2019 of an overdose.

“If you decide to admit a crime over a beat (a rap beat), I’ll use it”assumed the prosecutor, Fani Willis.

Of the 28 people initially named in the indictment, 14 are expected to stand trial which could last six to nine months. Six will be tried separately and eight – including Gunna and Young Thug’s brother, Quantavious Grier – have entered plea agreements.