Young Thug`s arrest follows an indictment by 56 grand jury members reviewed by Rolling Stone in Fulton County, Georgia, naming 28 members or employees of the YSL`s “criminal street gang” — including rapper Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, who is also charged with conspiracy to harm RICO. Officials claim that YSL — identified by Young Thug as a founding member — “claims to belong to the national Bloods gang.” (YSL operates under the name “Young Slime Life,” but also has the same initials as the 30-year-old rapper`s Young Stoner Life Records label.) The prosecution alleges that the named defendants “conspired to associate with each other and with others for the common purpose of illegally obtaining money and property through extortion activities.” Carmichael: That`s the dichotomy we`re living in right now. Basically, we have a music industry that rewards artists who take advantage of their connection to the street. On the other hand, we have a justice system that is determined to criminalize the same ties – whether they are real links, whether they are dramatized. For young people who have been seduced by the spotlight and are often looking for a way off the streets, rapping about where you came from and the things you or your people were doing on the street has the potential to earn millions of dollars a year — or years in prison. If you`re an icon like Young Thug, maybe both. Asked about the Georgia state`s proposed bill to restrict the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she did not think the legislation would be successful. “I think if you decide to admit your crimes all at once, I will use it,” Willis told reporters at an Aug. 29 news conference, before citing texts about alleged criminal activity cited in the indictment. “Now I use these texts that they admit to having done. I will continue to do so; People can continue to be angry about it,” Willis said. I have a piece of legal advice: don`t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you don`t want them used, or at least leave my county.
While Willis has vowed to continue using the text as evidence, lawmakers at the federal and state levels have introduced bills to restrict their use. The 28 people named in the indictment were charged with conspiracy to violate the state`s Influence of Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by participating in a pattern of illegal activities aimed at obtaining money and property. Georgian law closely resembles its federal counterpart and was created with the aim of trapping large criminal organizations such as the mafia. According to the Times, this isn`t the first time Willis has filed a lawsuit against RICO: In 2014, the attorney argued that Atlanta public school teachers accused of cheating on standardized tests were part of a blackmail plot. In her investigation into Trump, she suggested that the former president and his associates may have violated the state`s RICO law in their alleged attempts to commit voter fraud in 2020. Rapper “Go Crazy,” whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, is charged with conspiracy to violate the Influence of Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and participation in criminal street gang activities. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the RICO charge stems from an alleged crime committed in January 2013, while the gang activity charge is based on an alleged incident that occurred in May 2018. District Attorney Wills had already filed a motion on Aug. 15 asking the judge to order defense attorneys not to share the discovery documents, including “the names of all lay witnesses (and) cooperating YSL employees who are to testify in this case,” with anyone outside their legal teams.
“However, since the date of these filings, information from the state`s discovery material has appeared on public websites,” Willis wrote in his filing. “As a result, the state is now very concerned for the safety of this named witness and other potential witnesses in this trial.” None of the defendants have been released on bail since the indictment in May, due to concerns about witness intimidation and the possibility of further criminal activity. The Bloods formed in Los Angeles in the mid-seventies and have since spawned many smaller factions commonly referred to together, including the Rollin` 20s. Chatman joined the Rollin` 20 in the late seventies. His father was a “street guy,” he told me, who “pushed, sold drugs and pimped to make money and take care of me.” Chatman had shot people and been shot several times since he was fifteen, he said. He has been jailed five times, most recently for nearly three years for drug-related offences that ended in 2008. “Then I really put my life in order,” he said. In the years that followed, he worked in gang intervention, often as part of a program set up by the Los Angeles mayor`s office. “As I was a well-known G on the street, I was able to talk to young people and give them advice,” he explained his relationship with the members of Rollin` 20 today. He was proud to have helped, he added, in 2009 to negotiate “a non-aggression agreement” between my community and the community with which we were at war – that is, the Bloods and the Crips, “for over forty years.” Last month, Atlanta rapper Young Thug, whose official name is Jeffery Williams, was charged with rapper Gunna and 26 others for multiple extortion related to Young Slime Life. According to Thug and his associates, YSL Records is an Atlanta-based record label founded by Thug, but the lawsuit against him accuses YSL of being a gang and accuses him of co-founding the gang that allegedly committed murders, shootings and carjackings — crimes he later bragged about in his music videos.
Thug and Gunna remain in prison untied. Carmichael: That`s a good question. This is the one we really asked for and confused in the first season of Louder Than A Riot. In our coverage this season, we spoke to this gang expert and academic, Babe Howell, and she really explained for us this difference between gangs in a more organized sense and fair neighborhood teams, which are much more disorganized and usually run by teenagers — young people who grew up with each other and who, she says, studies show. that it is really more likely to get out of this phase of youth crime, unless they are involved in the system. RICO, when applied to rap stars, rappers are often not the ones accused of the most egregious crimes. But because of their celebrity and sometimes the belief that they are funding the entire operation, they are often portrayed as the proverbial kingpins. Chatman told me that he would talk to everyone about gang history and that it was important to know “identifiers” like hand signals “because they could harm your own life and well-being.” (“Ignorance can be life-threatening,” he said.) “If you choose to be a drug dealer, a terrorist, shoot people and victimize people, that`s wrong,” he continued. But simply belonging to a gang — or, to use his favorite term, an urban social group — is not a crime. “In many cases, the gang is a surrogate family,” he said.