US rappers Young Thug and Gunna have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to violate America’s RICO law – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
They are among 28 names included in the indictment, which also lists Yak Gotti, PeeWee Roscoe, and Thug’s brother, Unfoonk. All 28 appear to be members or associates of YSL, Young Thug’s Record Label. The indictment defines YSL as a “criminal street gang”.
The YSL enterprise, which stands for “Young Slime Life”, is also accused of being an affiliate of the national Bloods gang. The charges highlight known hand gestures and emojis said to be favoured by the YSL, as well as listing lyrics and music videos said to be “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy”.
Young Thug, 30, whose real name is Jeffrey Lamar Williams, founded the YSL label in 2016. He has been one of the most influential hip-hop artists of the last decade, pioneering the now wildly popular trap music. His lawyer told local media that “Mr Williams committed no crime whatsoever”. He is being held in Fulton County Jail and is due to appear in court on Tuesday.
Gunna, 28, real name Sergio Giavanni Kitchens, is signed to Thug’s YSL label and in recent years has become one of the most successful and popular hip-hop artists in the world. His song ‘Drip Too Hard’ with Lil Baby – another YSL associate – is approaching 1 billion streams on Spotify.
RICO was enacted in 1970 by then President Richard Nixon, to combat organised crime. John Gotti of the Gambino family, the Lucchese family, and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club are all examples of people being tried under the RICO act.