Young Thug & YSL's RICO Trial Will Accept Rap Lyrics As Evidence, Judge Decides

Judge Glanville clarified that prosecutors must establish a solid foundation before using 17 sets of rhymes against the collective.

BYGabriel Bras Nevares
Young Thug YSL RICO Case Rap Lyrics Evidence Hip Hop News

It's a crucial day for the RICO case against Young Thug and his YSL collective, as Judge Glanville made a pivotal decision in Fulton County on Thursday (November 9) according to WSB-TV's Channel 2. Moreover, he ruled that prosecutors will be able to use rap lyrics as evidence against Young Stoner Life in court during this trial's proceedings. However, the judge clarified that this is a conditional admittance for attorneys, as they must still lay a foundation in order to justify their use of any of these seventeen sets of lyrics. While this is a promising caveat, it's also a very vague one, which puts these artists' right to free artistic speech in jeopardy.

Brian Steel, Young Thug's attorney, argued as much, vehemently opposing the use of these lyrics. On the other hand, the prosecution believes that the connective tissue between them and real crimes they indicted these individuals with is too great to ignore. "Your honor, someone can look at that indictment and say one thing’s for sure: that’s not fantasy," prosecutor Mike Carlson expressed in court. "People are dead and murdered and a gang exists." Now, it seems like it's up to Glanville to determine their worth, as well as the recently seated jury.

Read More: YSL RICO Defendant Derontae Bebee Agrees To Plea Deal

Young Thug Performing In 2021

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - NOVEMBER 17: Rapper Young Thug performs at halftime during the Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks game at State Farm Arena on November 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

What's more is that this is an interesting point on the prosecution's board that comes just days after they had one taken off. Furthermore, Judge Glanville expressed disappointment in these attorneys withholding evidence and their general plan for the court. As such, it looks like Young Thug and YSL's fate still hasn't sealed, and it will likely be a very complex case to navigate. Still, the ruling on these lyrics is understandably disappointing: in an industry where artists are pushed to present the worst and most profitable version of themselves in exploitative ways that glorify violence and struggle, taking this collective's success away due to the artistry they express and have been rewarded for expressing is an egregiously unfair and inhumane double standard.

Meanwhile, that's not to say that we should ignore actual evidence of crime in the face of this battle. But this is something that will deeply affect not just this trial, but many more rap cases to come. As such, we'll see if this injustice is what ends up sinking the ship, or if the system can't find enough evidence to lock them up. On that note, log back into HNHH for the latest news and updates on Young Thug and the YSL RICO case.

Read More: YSL RICO Trial: Prosecution Submits Error-Ridden List Of Song Lyrics To Use As Evidence


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About The Author
Gabriel Bras Nevares is a music and pop culture news writer for HotNewHipHop. He started in 2022 as a weekend writer and, since joining the team full-time, has developed a strong knowledge in hip-hop news and releases. Whether it’s regular coverage or occasional interviews and album reviews, he continues to search for the most relevant news for his audience and find the best new releases in the genre. What excites him the most is finding pop culture stories of interest, as well as a deeper passion for the art form of hip-hop and its contemporary output. Specifically, Gabriel enjoys the fringes of rap music: the experimental, boundary-pushing, and raw alternatives to the mainstream sound. As a proud native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he also stays up-to-date with the archipelago’s local scene and its biggest musical exponents in reggaetón, salsa, indie, and beyond. Before working at HotNewHipHop, Gabriel produced multiple short documentaries, artist interviews, venue spotlights, and audio podcasts on a variety of genres and musical figures. Hardcore punk and Go-go music defined much of his coverage during his time at the George Washington University in D.C. His favorite hip-hop artists working today are Tyler, The Creator, Boldy James, JPEGMAFIA, and Earl Sweatshirt.