Since the massive indictment of YSL, including Young Thug and Gunna, the use of rap lyrics as evidence in court has become a controversial topic. New York, for instance, has moved forward with legislation to limit the power of song lyrics as evidence in criminal trials. However, in the case of Young Thug and Gunna, the prosecution argues that the lyrics serve as “overt acts” in the alleged RICO conspiracy.

Among the songs named in the prosecution’s case are Thug’s hit, “Anybody” as well as numerous songs from YSL’s 2020 compilation album, Slime Language 2, including “Take it to Trial,” “Ski,” and “Slatty.”

YSL Indictment Lists Lyrics From “Take It To Trial,” “Ski,” & “Slatty” As Evidence
Paras Griffin / Getty Images

They explain that the lyrics serve in “preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise [YSL].”

“I killed his man in front of his momma, like fiick lil bruh, sister and his cousin,” some of the lyrics cited read. “I shoot out,” and “kill em, not leaving a trace.”

Thug isn’t even accused of murder in the case but of renting a car that was later used in the killing of a gang member.

Critics of the court’s ability to use rap lyrics as evidence argue that the music is an art and therefore not a representation of artists’ reality.

“Mr. Sergio Kitchens, known as Gunna, is innocent. The indictment falsely portrays his music as part of criminal conspiracy,” the rapper’s attorneys, Steve Sadow and Don Samuel, told ABC News.

During a press conference announcing the arrests, the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, remarked: “The First Amendment does not protect people from prosecutors using [lyrics] as evidence.”

Gunna has been denied bond and has received a trial date for January 9th of 2023.