Prosecutors convinced a Georgia judge to allow rap lyrics to be used as evidence in Young Thug’s RICO trial. Judge Ural Glanville granted the prosecution’s request in a ruling on Thursday (November 9). According to multiple reports, the judge conditionally admitted 17 sets of lyrics as evidence.
Young Thug and his YSL co-defendants claimed their lyrics were protected by free speech. The defense argued it was “racist and discriminatory” to admit the lyrics as evidence.
“[Prosecutors] are targeting the right to free speech and that’s wrong,” Young Thug’s lawyer Brian Steel said. “They are saying that just because he is singing about it, he is now part of a crime.”
Judge Glanville rejected the free speech argument.
“They’re not prosecuting your clients because of the songs they wrote,” the judge said. “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.”
Judge Glanville said prosecutors would need to “lay the foundation” to use the lyrics in Young Thug’s trial. The rapper and five co-defendants face gang and racketeering charges in their upcoming trial, which is scheduled to begin on November 27.
Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, was one of the 28 people named in a sweeping RICO indictment of YSL members. He has remained in jail since his May 2022 arrest.