Prosecutors accuse Grammy-winning rapper Young Thug of being the top figure in a criminal street gang responsible for murder and numerous violent offenses over the past ten years in Atlanta.
In opening statements on Monday in his racketeering trial, Fulton County Chief Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love claimed that Young Thug’s label, Young Stoner Life Records, known as YSL, actually stands for Young Slime Life – an Atlanta-based criminal street gang associated with the national Bloods gang.
According to Love, Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, played a key role in the gang, known as “King Slime.” She accused YSL of creating havoc in the Cleveland Avenue community of Fulton County, involving the youth, their innocence, and even their lives.
The rapper was charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) law, just like former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants in August in relation to their alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Although many defendants have taken plea deals, Young Thug and five others have pleaded not guilty and are now on trial.
In her opening statements, Love described Young Thug’s leadership role in the gang and the crimes committed, including armed robbery, hijacking, motor vehicle theft, possession of a machine gun, and murder. She mentioned the killing of Donovan Thomas, allegedly perpetrated by the gang, followed by 50 additional shootings and hundreds of bullets fired in retaliation.
Despite these allegations, Young Thug’s music has topped the charts and landed him collaborations with artists like Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, and Drake. He also won a Grammy for “Song of the Year” in 2019, proving his influence in the music industry.
Young Thug remains in custody since his arrest and is currently facing new charges related to his alleged involvement in gang activity, as well as drug and firearm violations. While his trial unfolds, these developments continue to shape his narrative and are closely followed in this ongoing story.