Entertainment

US rapper Young Thug arrested for extortion and gang offenses

Atlanta rapper Young Thug co-founded a violent street gang and promoted it in his songs and on social media, prosecutors allege in a sprawling indictment that charges him and 27 others with racketeering and other crimes.

The rapper, whose first name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, co-wrote the hit song This Is America with Childish Gambino, which became the first hip-hop track to win Grammy Song of the Year in 2019.

Fulton County prosecutors say he and two others founded Young Slime Life, a violent criminal street gang commonly known as YSL and affiliated with the national Bloods gang, in late 2012.

He was arrested Monday at his home in Buckhead, an upscale neighborhood north of central Atlanta.

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Mugshot of Atlanta rapper Young Thug (Fulton County Sheriff’s Office/AP)

He was being held in the Fulton County Jail on conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and participation in a criminal street gang.

Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, told local news outlets: “Mr. Williams has committed no crime” and he will “fight to the last drop of his blood to acquit him.”

Along with specific charges, the indictment contains a lengthy list of 181 acts that prosecutors say were committed as part of a conspiracy to advance the gang’s interests.

These include appearing in videos with inflammatory song lyrics, appearing in social media photos with gang symbols, possessing drugs with intent to distribute, aggravated assault and murder.

The indictment alleges members of the gang tried to kill rival gang member and rapper YFN Lucci, whose first name is Rayshawn Bennett, by “stabbing and stabbing” him with a blade in the Fulton County Jail.

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YFN Lucci was among a dozen people charged in Fulton County a year ago in another gang-related charge against Rico.

YSL operates primarily in southeast Atlanta and the Cleveland Avenue area, but is expanding into the surrounding metropolitan area, prosecutors say.

Their members can be identified by their green or red bandanas — red for Bloods and green for Slime — and clothing with the letters YSL or the word Slime, the indictment says.

The indictment also charged another Atlanta rapper, Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens, and aspiring rapper Christian Eppinger, who was previously in prison and accused of shooting an Atlanta police officer six times in February.

In April 2021, Young Thug and Gunna issued bail for 30 low-level inmates who were unable to pay the costs themselves.

With his high-pitched rap vocals, Young Thug is best known for his hits like Stoner and Best Friend.

In a hyper-masculine hip-hop scene, Thug refused to conform to traditional gender conventions. He wore a dress on the cover of his 2016 mixtape Jeffery and said there is no gender in a Calvin Klein campaign.

Young Thug’s record label was called YSL Records or Young Stoner Life Records. The label bills its artists as part of the Slime Family, and a compilation album called Slime Language 2 topped the charts in April 2021.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/us-rapper-young-thug-arrested-on-racketeering-and-gang-charges-41635582.html US rapper Young Thug arrested for extortion and gang offenses

Fry Electronics Team

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