Table of content    
  1. 1. Young Thug and Gunna: Who is involved?
  2. 2. What does Lil Wayne have to do with the case?
  3. 3. How are song lyrics being used as evidence?
  4. 4. What’s 300 Entertainment’s involvement?
  5. 5. Gunna and Young Thug are in jail until when?

Young Thug and Gunna Case: All Updated Information And Explanation

Young Thug pleaded guilty on June 12 while in jail. In a recorded speech played at Hot 97's Summer Jam, he said, "You know, this isn't about just me or YSL." "I always use music as a way to express my creativity, and I now realize that Black rappers and artists don't have the same freedom. Please sign the petition to protect black art, and keep us in your prayers. I love you all, he said.
A little over seven months after his arrest in May, Gunna walked free on December 14. The rapper pleaded guilty to a charge of racketeering conspiracy in what is known as an Alford plea — a deal that allows him to plead guilty if it’s in his interest while maintaining his innocence. His five-year sentence was commuted to time served and 500 hours of community service in the deal. Young Thug is awaiting his January trial from behind bars. Here’s everything you need to know about the case, updated as it develops, from the people involved to a summary of the charges and the lyrics cited.

1. Young Thug and Gunna: Who is involved?

young thug gunnaSource: Vulture

The grand-jury indictment identifies Young Thug and 27 other associates as members of the “criminal street gang” YSL, or Young Slime Life. Thug, the heartbeat of Atlanta’s fertile rap scene, is allegedly the founder of this street gang, which formed in the city in 2012. The prosecution claims that YSL has “affiliation with the national Bloods gang, and some associates also claim the Blood subset gangs Sex Money Murder or 30 Deep.” The rapper founded record label Young Stoner Life in 2016 as an imprint of 300 Entertainment. YSL Records calls its roster of artists the “Slime Family.” Gunna was also named in the indictment, along with rappers YSL Duke, Yak Gotti, and Thug’s brother Unfoonk.
Fani Willis is the district attorney overseeing the case. She is a Democrat known for investigating whether the former president Trump and his team engaged in election fraud in Georgia. “It does not matter what your notoriety is or what your fame is. If you come to Fulton County, Georgia, you commit crimes, and certainly if those crimes are in furtherance of a street gang, then you are going to become a target and a focus of this district attorney’s office, and we are going to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law,” Willis said in a May 10 press conference. She said has reason to believe that gangs “are committing conservatively 75 to 80 percent of all the violent crime that we’re seeing within our community. And so they have to be booted.”
Brian Steel, Young Thug’s lawyer, told the New York Times that YSL is not a criminal street gang. “Mr. Williams came from an incredibly horrible upbringing, and he has conducted himself throughout his life in a way that is just to Marvel at,” Mr. Steel said. “He’s committed no crime whatsoever.” Gunna’s guilty plea serves as a public acknowledgement of his “association with YSL,” the rapper said in statement, though he emphasized that his association is purely musical. He maintains his innocence despite the plea. “While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way,” Gunna told WSB and other outlets in a statement.

2. What does Lil Wayne have to do with the case?

young thug gunnaSource: The NY times

Peewee Roscoe, real name Jimmy Carlton Winfrey, was charged with aggravated assault in connection with a shooting involving Lil Wayne’s tour bus in 2015. In the original indictment, Young Thug and Birdman were listed as co-conspirators, but they were never charged. The YSL indictment names Roscoe, who was previously sentenced to ten years in prison for the shooting incident and was released in 2020.

3. How are song lyrics being used as evidence?

young thug gunnaSource: Vulture

Rap lyrics are being used as evidence against those charged in the YSL case. Though experts have argued that it can be a violation of free speech, the use of rap lyrics to incriminate hip-hop artists isn’t new. Boosie, Bobby Shmurda, Drakeo the Ruler, and 6ix9ine’s lyrics have all been deployed in court as evidence against them. Boosie and Drakeo the Ruler were acquitted, though the others were not. In January 2021, Maryland ruled that rap lyrics could constitute evidence of guilt. Earlier this year, however, Jay-Z and other prominent artists took a stand by publicly supporting Senate Bill S7527, a proposed New York law known as “Rap Music on Trial.” The bill would limit the use of lyrics in criminal trials. Prosecutors in the YSL case have cited multiple songs as evidence of gang affiliation and racketeering activity.

4. What’s 300 Entertainment’s involvement?

young thug gunnaSource: Vulture

The distributor behind Young Stoner Life Records has lent their support to Gunna and Thug in a myriad of ways. Following Thug’s bail hearing, the 300 Entertainment co-founder (now 300 Elektra Entertainment, following a recent merger) and Atlantic Records circulated the Petition to Protect Black Art, asking both federal and state legislators to adopt bills that limit the admissibility of rap lyrics as evidence in a court of law. 300 even arranged an audio recording of Thug in which he urges people to sign the petition and shared it with a crowd at Hot 97’s Summer Jam earlier this month. The company also distributed Gunna’s open letter to fans and the public. “I used my art form, my gift from God, to change my circumstances … For now, I don’t have freedom. But I am innocent,” he wrote.

5. Gunna and Young Thug are in jail until when?

young thug gunnaSource: The NY times

Young Thug will remain in jail until the trial begins. The trial is set for January 2023. In an emergency motion filed May 13, Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel, blasted his “inhumane” jail conditions and filed a request for bond, which has since been denied. In the filing, he wrote that Thug has been detained in what amounts to “solitary confinement/total isolation” in a “windowless cement compartment with only a bed and toilet and an overhead light which remains on 24 hours per day, preventing any sleep, rest or meditation.”Steel claims that the rapper has no access to media, including TV or the internet, nor any freedom to “exercise, shower or have human contact.” Gunna also spoke out against poor jail conditions in an Instagram post that shared an open letter to his 4.4 million followers. “22 & 2, just a bed & a shower, no windows, just walls,” he wrote in the caption. “Can’t see or talk to anyone.”
What’s clear is that Fulton County continues to conflate gang activity with rap music and has not signaled a change in policy. “The optics look like gang stuff,” Lance Williams, a professor at Northeastern Illinois University, told The New Yorker. “It looks ugly. But the reality is that most of it is just music. If there’s violence, it’s interpersonal — not organized.” He was troubled by the use of the RICO law, which, in his words, is a “thing created for the Mafia now being used to indict young Black males who are flirting with the culture and the music, but who are not involved with any criminal enterprise.” He continued, “Once they hit you with this RICO thing, you’re finished. It’s a wrap.”
When asked about the proposed Georgia state bill to limit the use of rap lyrics as evidence in criminal proceedings, Fulton County district attorney Fani Willis said she doesn’t think the legislation would be successful. “I think if you decide to admit your crimes over a beat, I’m going to use it,” Willis told reporters at an August 29 press conference before quoting lyrics about alleged criminal activity that are cited in the indictment. “Now I’m using those lyrics that they’re admitting to doing that. I’m going to continue to do that; people can continue to be angry about that,” Willis said. “I have some legal advice: Don’t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you don’t want them used, or at least get out of my county.” While Willis has vowed to continue to use lyrics as evidence, legislators on both the state and federal levels have introduced bills to limit their use. is a website that provides you with entertainment updates and creative ideas to brighten your day. Don’t hesitate to visit our site to know more about updated celebrity and entertainment news.
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