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Young Thug’s Lyrics Used Against Him in Court Is ‘Unprecedented Racism,’ Legal Experts Say

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Ethan Shanfeld Hip-hop, like any art form, is a means of creative expression. And while rap music is often semi-autobiographical, when Kanye West recorded in 2018, “I thought about killing you / Premeditated murder,” or when, 18 years earlier, Eminem boasted of putting his dead wife in the trunk of a car, surely those words weren’t meant to be taken literally.But what happens when lyrics are used as evidence in a criminal trial?Grammy-nominated artist Young Thug was arrested this week on charges of gang activity and conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

But as federal prosecutors aim to prove the Atlanta rapper’s involvement in a large-scale criminal operation, they’re using his own music against him.

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, is listed as a co-founder of so-called “criminal street gang” Young Slime Life, or YSL.

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