Young Thug trial sparks online questions about YSL rapper’s shirt: Updates

Young Thug criticises Andre 3000

The hotly-anticipated trial of the rapper Young Thug is back under way in a courtroom in Atlanta, Georgia, after being derailed when a codefendant was stabbed in jail.

In May 2022, Young Thug, real name Jeffery Williams, was arrested and charged in a sprawling RICO indictment along with 27 other defendants.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis – who is using the same law to prosecute Donald Trump in his Georgia election interference case – accused the suspects of being part of a criminal street gang named YSL or “Young Slime Life.”

According to prosecutors, the gang is responsible for multiple violent crimes, including murders, shootings, carjackings and racketeering. Young Thug denies the accusations and insists YSL is simply his record label – Young Stoner Life.

The trial has been undoubtedly rocky. Shannon Stillwell, a YSL co-defendant, was stabbed “multiple times” in jail by a fellow inmate in December. The incident led to the trial’s postponement until 2 January.

When the trial resumed on Tuesday, Young Thug instantly sparked speculation online around what he was wearing under his shirt.


The Young Thug trial is set to resume

The Young Thug trial is about to restart on 2 January after a weeks-long break following a YSL codefendant being stabbed in prison.

The trial was supposed to begin at 9.30am, but like consistent with this case so far, it is once again delayed.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 15:14


ICYMI: Trial was delayed for weeks after codefendant was stabbed in jail

The third week of the YSL trial got off to a dramatic start when one of the defendants was reportedly stabbed.

Defendant Shannon Stillwell “was stabbed in jail,” Max Schardt, his lawyer, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday.

Willie Brown, an inmate at Rice Street Jail, was charged with aggravated assault and possession of prohibited items in connection to the stabbing, according to a Fulton County Sheriff’s Office press release.

A fight erupted between Mr Brown and Mr Stillwell on the evening of 10 December — but it’s still not known what led to the fight. Mr Stillwell was “stabbed multiple times by Brown” and Mr Stillwell is in stable condition, the release stated.

Read the full story…

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 15:30


Dwight Hutchins takes the stand

Mr Hutchins testified that he used to work in security for 25 years until he had a stroke in 2020.

He said that he worked at Perimeter Mall from 2013 to 2015, which is the same place where Mr Williams was accused of making “terroristic threats” in July 2015.

When the prosecutor asked whether he encountered two ‘men on hoverboards, he said he remembered explaining to them why that wasn’t permitted. But they didn’t listen, Mr Hutchins testified.

He added that their demeanor toward him was “okay” But he contacted the director of security because he couldn’t “handle” dealing with them.

As they were leaving, he said they were yelling profanity, but didn’t remember which man was doing the yelling.

The indictment accuses Mr Williams of telling the security director that he “would shoot him in the face with a gun” if he approached.

Mr Hutchins allegedly wrote an incident report dated 7 July 2015 with his signature on it, but the witness said he didn’t remember writing the statement.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 16:03


Who is Young Thug?

Born in 1991 as Jeffrey Lamar Williams, Young Thug is an Atlanta-born rapper. He also goes by the name Slime.

After starting his career at the age of 19, he signed with Gucci Mane’s record label, and went on to become one of the most influential artists on the contemporary hip-hop and trap music scene.

His first two albums “So Much Fun”, in 2019, and “Punk”, in 2021, debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, as did his 2021 joint compilation album with Gunna, “Slime Language 2”.

Young Thug has also featured in multiple collaborations that have earned him several number one hits.

These include guest spots on Camila Cabello’s Havana in 2018, Travis Scott and MIA’s Franchise in 2020 and Drake and Future’s Way 2 Sexy in 2021, all of which topped the Billboard Hot 100.

He also co-wrote the hit song This Is America with Childish Gambino, real name Donald Glover, which became the first hip-hop track to win Song of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 2019.

Young Thug is also noted for his style, with a 2016 GQ article describing him as “a leader of the psychedelic fashion movement of rap hippies”.

“He is unapproachable. He radiates volatility. I can’t even imagine him making actual, on-purpose eye contact with another human,” the article states.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 16:15


Former police officer Mark Stevens testifies

Mr Stevens is testifying about the same mall incident in July 2015 involving Mr Williams.

At the time, he identified the person making threats to the director of security as Jeffery Williams, he testified.

He said that the security director was trying to get the men to cooperate and to issue them a “criminal trespass ban.” After the “threat was made,” the security guard let the men go, he added.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 16:37


YSL, defined

YSL takes on a few meanings in this trial.

According to its website, YSL stands for Young Stoner Life, a record label that includes artists Young Thug, Gunna, Yak Gotti, Unfoonk. They are all defendants in this trial.

The prosecution is arguing that “YSL” also stands for “Young Slime Life,” a “criminal street gang.”

During his opening remarks, Mr Steel discussed the alleged origins of “YSL.” He said the abbreviation stemmed from the “YSL” logo on Yves Saint Laurent pants.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 17:00


Next witness takes the stand: Sgt Sean Lenahan

Mr Lenahan works for the city of Dunwoody police department. He worked as a criminal investigator from 2012-2015, he said.

He is testifying about the same July 2015 incident allegedly involving Mr Williams.

The defence is trying to point out that only Mr May heard Mr Williams yelling the threats to him. He asked Mr Lenahan if any witness at the scene named or pointed to which of the men made the threats; none of the witnesses did.

Due to lack of corroboration, the DeKalb County DA’s office dismissed the case, the defence added.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 17:07


Lunch time

The jury took a recess for lunch and will return at 1.30pm, the judge said.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 17:30


ICYMI: ‘Pushin P’ redefined

Defence attorney Brian Steel pulled up a Powerpoint slide during his opening remarks showing a photo of his client, Mr Williams, flashing a hand sign. The indictment states that Mr Williams is flashing a “‘Bloods’ gang sign.” Mr Steel said the prosecution is arguing that his hand is in the shape of a “B.”

Mr Steel said that his client was holding up the letter “P” before referencing a song by Mr Williams and his codefendant Sergio Kitchens, aka Gunna, called “pushin P.” The lawyer translated the song to mean “pushing positivity.”

According to Mr Steel, “It means, any circumstance you’re in, if you think positively about something, you can make it through. You’re pushing positivity.”

The term has been represented online by the 🅿️ emoji and is understood to mean “keeping it real” or, according to Mr Kitchens on The Breakfast Club, it “could” mean keeping it “player.”

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 18:00


What has happened in the trial so far?

The trial has been nothing short of dramatic so far.

Both the prosecution and defence frequently make objections, delays are common, and courtroom chaos is ritual.

In the first week the case, jurors’ faces were shown in a livestream, prompting fears of a mistrial. A screenshot of the jurors sitting in the front row quickly circulated on social media.

But still, the trial went on.

Another key point of this case hinges on definitions, mainly on the definition of YSL. The proseuction claims that YSL stands for Young Slime Life, which is a “criminal street gang,” while the defence insists that YSL is merely a record label: Young Stoner Life.

Mr Williams’ attorney Brian Steel made waves when he offered up a few other contested definitions in his opening remarks. He said that the YSL abbreviation derives from the logo for designer brand Yves Saint Laurent. Mr Steel also claimed that “thug” stood for “truly humble under God,” when describing his client’s rap name.

Meanwhile prosecutor Adriane Love, in her opening statement, referenced The Jungle Book: “For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” She then consistently painted Mr Williams as the head of said “pack.”

In the trial’s second week, Mr Williams sparked speculation that he was trying to send the prosecution a message by boasting a designer sweater emblazoned with a cartoon wolf. The sweater sold out days later.

Kelly Rissman2 January 2024 18:28

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