Young Thug’s rap lyrics could be used as evidence against him in the upcoming YSL RICO court case, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville has ruled, Billboard reports.
The Atlanta judge ruled that some of Young Thug’s lyrics can be used in the trial, where the rapper will appear in front of a court alongside Gunna, Yak Gotti, and other YSL (Young Stoner Life) associates.
The group were arrested in 2022 on charges of gang-related activity and racketeering offences. Young Thug faced seven additional felony charges and could be given life in prison if found guilty.
A hearing took place on Wednesday, November 8, deliberating the use of Young Thug’s lyrics as part of the forthcoming trial, which will begin at the end of the month.
Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, told the court that the lyrics are a form of creative expression. “They are targeting the right to free speech, and that’s wrong,” he explained. “They are saying that just because he is singing about it, he is now part of a crime.”
The discussion continued for hours on Wednesday, concluding at 9:PM where the judge rejected the defence’s arguments against using lyrics as evidence.
“They’re not prosecuting your clients because of the songs they wrote,” Judge Glanville stated. “They’re using the songs to prove other things your clients may have been involved in. I don’t think it’s an attack on free speech.”
The controversial decision to use lyrics as evidence has been disputed in recent years. A bill was reintroduced to the US Congress in April, aiming to protect artists from having their lyrics used against them in court.
The bill, if passed, would add a presumption to the Federal Rules of Evidence, that would deem an artist’s creative expression or artistic expression from being used against it in court.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter