YSL RICO case: Hearing to decide if rap lyrics can be used as evidence in trial – WSB Atlanta

Defense attorneys for rapper Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, have argued rap music is on trial. They essentially claim that prosecutors took portions of Young Thug’s songs to help build their case against him and his alleged associates.

But prosecutors say the songs support their allegations and that Young Thug was the head of YSL, an alleged criminal street gang accused of committing violent crimes across the city.

Defense attorneys call those claims baseless and claim YSL stands for Young Stoner Life, Williams record label.


Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was in court on Wednesday while Executive District Attorney Mike Carlson, who is the head of the major crimes unit in Fulton County explained that this case is not about putting rap on trial. Carlson said instead they plan to use the lyrics to show jurors that Young Thug and his co-defendants defendants used the music to brag about the numerous crimes they’re accused of committing across metro Atlanta.

“The lyrics are evidence of criminal intent and criminal action. They are highly relevant in this case as you’re about to see,” Carlson said. “They got to prove the offenses in question demonstrate elements and of course, your honor, the mental state, the motive, the intent, and the state of mind of the defendants.”

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their presentation and then the defense will present their reasoning as to why the lyrics should not be allowed to be used during the trial.

As of Nov. 8 there are only 6 defendants remaining:

Jeffrey Williams aka YOUNG THUG — RICO charges, participation in criminal street gang activity

Deamonte Kendrick aka YAK GOTTI — RICO charges and murder.

Shannon Stillwell aka Shannon Jackson aka SB — RICO charges, murder, participation in a criminal street gang, gun charges

Rodalius Ryan aka LIL ROD — RICO charges

Quamarvious Nichols — RICO charges, murder, participation in criminal street gang activity and gun charges.

Marquavius Huey aka QUA — RICO charges, armed robbery, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, hijacking a motor vehicle in the first degree, participation in a criminal street gang, possession of a telecommunication device by an incarcerated individual and gun charges.

Opening statements are slated to start on Nov. 27.

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