Erik Nielson, c0-author of Rap on Trial, spoke with us about Young Thug’s RICO case and the ongoing use of rap lyrics as criminal evidence.
What do the following lyrics all have in common?
“Red just like Elmo but never fuckin giggle.”
“I’m not new to this, hey, I’m so true to this, hey, done put whole slime on hunnid licks.”
“I escaped every one of the licks cause I was supposed to be rich / I don’t care nothing ’bout no cop, I’m just tellin’ you how it is.”
“I had to break in the safe, yeah, and I didn’t leave ’em a trace.”
These are all Young Thug lyrics that prosecutor’s in Georgia categorize as “an overt act in furtherance of a conspiracy,” in the sweeping, 56-count grand jury indictment against the platinum-selling artist and 27 others, accused of being members of an alleged Blood-affiliated and Atlanta-based gang that shares a name with Thug’s record label, Young Stoner Life Records.