The rapper was one of 28 charged in a major indictment centered on the alleged YSL street gang
Rapper Young Thug, real name Jeffrey Williams, has been arrested in Atlanta on suspicion of gang involvement and conspiracy to violate Georgia’s criminal racketeering statute.
The rapper’s arrest follows a larger grand jury indictment that named 28 members and employees of Young Thug’s record label YSL (known as Young Stoner Life, Young Slatt Life and Young Slime Life).
The indictment describes YSL as a “criminal street gang” formed in 2012, with Young Thug allegedly being one of YSL’s three founding members.
That’s all you need to know about the situation.
Who is Young Thug?
Young Thug is an American rapper best known for singles like Stoner, Danny Glover, Featuring in Camila Cabello’s 2017 song Havana and for winning the Grammy Award for Song of the Year for his contribution to songwriting This is America by Childish Gambino.
Born in Atlanta, he told Rolling Stone in 2014, “I was on the road when I was eight, nine years old. I went to school so my dad and mom would keep buying me clothes, but when I got out I did what I wanted to do — fight, all kinds of shit.”
He said he was kicked out of middle school after breaking a teacher’s arm when an altercation became physical and spent the next four years in a juvenile detention center.
Of this period in his life, Young Thug said, “Seven in the morning to six in the afternoon. No windows or anything like a real prison.
“Much punishment. I didn’t do anything there, just gambled, smoked and shagged.”
He began his musical career in 2010 when he appeared as a guest rapper on the song she can go by TruRoyal. He eventually caught the attention of Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane after releasing the first three parts of his mixtape series I came out of nowhere between 2011 and 2012.
Gucci Mane signed Young Thug to his label 1017 Brick Squad Records in 2013 and continued to release mixtapes from there.
In 2016, Young Thug announced that he would be starting his own record label called YSL Records.
His first studio album called So much funwas released in 2019 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. The album also featured Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 Singles The London and Hot.
So much fun boasted cameos from the likes of Future, Machine Gun Kelly, Lil Baby, 21 Savage and Travis Scott.
In 2021, YSL Records with Young Thug and Gunna released their second compilation album called slime language 2a follow-up to Young Thug’s 2018 compilation album called slime language. On October 15, 2021, Young Thug released his second studio album called punk.
Why was Young Thug arrested?
The rapper was arrested Monday (May 9) following a raid at his home and is being held in an Atlanta jail pending his first hearing on Tuesday (May 10).
According to prison records, he was charged with “participation in criminal street gang activity” and conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Young Thug was also charged with a number of other charges in the indictment document, including: threatening to kill a man in a mall; renting a car used during the 2015 murder of Donovan Thomas Jr.; and intend to distribute methammethamine.
While accused of these acts, Young Thug has not been charged with the individual offenses.
According to prosecutors, Young Thug’s alleged gang activity took place on or between May 12, 2018 and May 8, 2022.
Speaking to WSB-TV, Young Thug’s attorney, Brain Steel, said: “I will tell you that the answer to any allegation is that Mr Williams has committed no crime and we will fight to the last drop of my blood to save him to acquit.”
Has Gunna been charged?
Gunna is another rapper named in the indictment, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens. Gunna is an American rapper signed to YSL Records.
He met Young Thus in December 2015 and starred in Young Thugs Song alongside Travis Scott and Gucci Mane Floyd Mayweather from his 2016 mixtape Jeffrey.
Speak with billboard In 2018, Gunna said he and Young Thug became close after the death of their mutual friend Troup.
He said: “When [Troup] died, that didn’t bring us closer, me and thug. It made us like family regardless of the music.
“I didn’t even get involved in any music shit with him. We were mostly cool, he didn’t even know I was rapping. It’s just organic.”
Gunna has been charged with a single count of violating the RICO Act – while Gunna was not arrested, a spokesman for prosecutors confirmed to the New York Times that a number of others among the 28 accused had been arrested.
What are the allegations against other YSL members?
In addition to Young Thug and Gunna, 26 other members of the YSL crew were named in the 56-strong indictment.
While all 28 defendants were charged with conspiracy to violate RICO, co-defendants Young Thug and Gunna were also charged with a range of crimes including murder, attempted murder, robbery, witness intimidation, aggravated assault and drug trafficking.
Some of those named in the indictment include Yak Gotti, PeeWee Roscoe and Young Thug’s brother Unroonk.
Yak Gotti, real name Deamonte Kendrick, is one of five charged with the murder of Donovan Thomas Jr. Thomas Jr. was described by prosecutors as a “rival gang member.”
The victim in the 88-page indictment is Lil Wayne, whose tour bus was allegedly attacked by a gunman who was a YSL employee in 2015.
The indictment has a section titled “Actions to further the conspiracy,” which mentions incidents that occurred between 2013 and 2022, such as PeeWee Roscoe’s 2015 crime of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon . That conviction was overturned in 2018.
A number of the acts listed in the “Acts promoting the conspiracy” section are YSL-related songs, videos, posts and texts on social media that have been deemed “obvious acts promoting the conspiracy”.
Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to murder, alleging that Christian Eppinger (credited as “Bhris” in the document) and Antonio Sumlin (“Obama”) discussed their desire to “get permission” from Young receive bats to make an attempt on the life of YFN Lucci.