In light of a new gang indictment in the same Georgia county where Young Thug and Gunna are currently detained, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has maintained the use of rap lyrics as evidence.
Willis announced RICO charges against 26 alleged Drug Rich gang members on Monday, August 29. Prosecutors believe these individuals are responsible for several high-profile home invasions and other violent crimes in the Metro Atlanta area.
The indictment alleges that they monitored social media accounts of celebrities like Mariah Carey, Atlanta Falcons star Calvin Ridley, and Future’s baby mother, Brittni Mealy, to plan a heist and scope out items.
Investigators have tied alleged gang members to the indictment based on rap lyrics, music videos, and social media posts. At least five defendants remain at large.
During Monday’s press conference, D.A. Willis defended targeting rap lyrics and warned other rappers to stop “confessing” to crimes in their songs.
“I think if you decide to admit your crimes over a beat, I’m gonna use it,” she said. “You do not get to commit crimes in my county and then decide to brag on it, which you do that for a form of intimidation and to further the gang, and not be held responsible.”
“Just one of the lyrics used in this indictment is: ‘Me and my crew striking out, striking in all black / Send me the drop, we’ll kick in the house / If we steal a car, we’re gonna take off the tags.’ Well, they’re kicking in doors, committing home invasions, and now I’m using those lyrics that they’re admitting to doing that.”
She added: “I’m going to continue to do that. People can continue to be angry about it. I have some legal advice: don’t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you do not want them used — or at least get out of my county.”
Willis’ remarks come just weeks after the Restoring Artistic Protection Act (RAP Act) was introduced in Congress to limit the use of lyrics in court.
The California State Assembly and State Senate approved a similar bill earlier in August. Gavin Newsom, the governor, has not yet approved the bill, but he is likely to sign it into law.
Although this isn’t the first time rap lyrics have been used as evidence, the discussion has heated up recently in the wake of Young Thug and Gunna’s arrests for YSL’s alleged involvement in a wide range of RICO conspiracies.
As part of their racketeering accusations, prosecutors have claimed that the group is a “criminal street gang” accountable for several violent crimes in Atlanta.