It is day two of Young Thug’s high-profiled RICO case, and his defense team is working overtime to paint a positive image of the rapper.
During attorney Brian Steel’s opening statements, he spoke of how Thug overcame the odds to become the wildly successful rapper he is today, telling the court, “Jeffery Williams was born into an environment, a community, a society that was filled with oppression, despair, hopelessness, and helplessness.”
He then detailed how Thug grew up with a single mother and his siblings in a small apartment with no utilities. Steel dived into Thug’s dedication to learning music and even tried to distance the “Check” rapper from negative connotations about his stage name, telling the courtroom that Thug actually stood for “Truly humbled under God.”
Brian Steel tells the jury that Young Thug is a “studio gangster.”
“They’re in the studio. They are creating music for us to listen to.” pic.twitter.com/PNn86m4RU3
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) November 28, 2023
The focus on Thug’s music will be seen throughout the trial as both sides address his songs. The prosecutors are trying to use his lyrics to prove Thug committed several crimes within his YSL organization. During day one of the trial, prosecutors had already begun pointing out song lyrics. Certain songs in the indictment include “Slime S**t,” “Original Slime S**t,” and more. However, Steel is making it clear that those words hold absolutely no weight, calling his client a “studio gangster.”
“They’re in the studio. They are creating music for us to listen to,” Steel argued.
Thug has continuously maintained his innocence, though several others in the case have accepted deals. Trontavious Stephens pleaded guilty to racketeering and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, though he was credited two years for time served, with the remaining eight to be served on probation. He has agreed to testify at trial. Antonio Sledge, also known as Mounk Tounk, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the RICO Act and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and was given 15 years probation. Gunna famously accepted an Alford plea and received a four-year suspended sentence.