What to know as rapper Younger Thug’s RICO trial begins : NPR

Rapper Younger Thug is accused of serving to discovered a violent road gang.

Michael Tullberg/Getty Pictures

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Michael Tullberg/Getty Pictures

Rapper Younger Thug is accused of serving to discovered a violent road gang.

Michael Tullberg/Getty Pictures

Jeffery Lamar Williams, professionally often known as Younger Thug, is about to go to trial on Monday. The 31-year-old Atlanta rapper, together with fellow rapper Sergio Kitchens, recognized professionally as Gunna, and dozens of others, stand accused of serving to discovered a violent road gang, often known as Younger Slime Life, or YSL.

In Might, authorities arrested and charged Williams with conspiracy to violate Georgia’s RICO Act and taking part in a prison road gang. The 88-page indictment, filed in Fulton County, Georgia, contains references to lyrics present in Williams’ music. The indictment additionally features a listing of 181 acts, relationship again to 2013.

The high-profile arrest of Williams, who now could be dealing with eight separate expenses, is a part of a rising development of criminalizing hip hop artists below RICO acts, a measure supposed to cease organized crime, just like the mafia. Beneath these legal guidelines, the authorities are in a position to accuse a number of folks in somebody’s circle, from a rapper, to their entourage, and different members of their crew, of gang-related exercise if at the very least one particular person is related to prison exercise.

The trial additionally calls into query using lyrics in charging musicians with crimes. In July, Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., launched a invoice within the Home to guard artists from having their lyrics used in opposition to them, impressed by Williams’ arrest.

Jury choice for the trial in opposition to Williams, who has pleaded not responsible to all eight counts, started final week. A number of high-profile artists, together with Lil Wayne and Wealthy Homie Quan, might be known as to the witness stand throughout the trial.

“Mr. Williams has dedicated no crime in any way,” Brian Metal, his legal professional, instructed ABC Information. “We are going to struggle this case ethically, legally and zealously. Mr. Williams will probably be cleared.”

Williams received a Grammy in 2019 for co-writing the tune “That is America” with Infantile Gambino. Three of his songs — together with “Approach 2 Attractive,” with rappers Future and Drake, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Sizzling 100.

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