The RICO trial of recording artist Young Thug and his Atlanta-based record label YSL (which prosecutors are labeling as a gang) has started, and the attorney of the rapper stated the meaning of Thug in his moniker is actually an acronym that doesn’t equate to him being an actual thug.
According to Complex, Young Thug’s attorney, Brian Steel, explained to the judge and jury the origin of the man born Jeffery Lamar Williams. At the beginning of his recording career, he was a big fan of Lil Wayne and Tupac. As he thought of what to call himself, Williams was inspired by a Tupac song named “P.Y.T. (Playa Young Thugs), which was inspired by another song by Micheal Jackson, “P.Y.T.,” which stood for “Pretty Young Thing.”
Steel said, “T.H.U.G. meant and means to Jeffery something very personal.”
No one is more serious than Young Thug’s lawyer today.
“If he could ever make it as a musical artist and help his family, himself and his many others out of this endless cycle of hopelessness, he would be truly humbled under God. That’s what thug means.” pic.twitter.com/9m1czcwGsF
— Meghann Cuniff (@meghanncuniff) November 28, 2023
The 30-year-old recording artist was charged with conspiracy to violate the RICO Act and allegedly participating in street gang activity in May 2022. He was later hit with another charge of participating in street gang activity, three counts of violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, and possession of a machine gun.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Right before the trial started, defense attorneys lost a ruling that would allow prosecutors to use lyrics said by Young Thug over the years against the rapper. The attorneys argued that using his lyrics in the case against him violates his freedom of speech, but Judge Ural Glanville disagreed, ruling that 17 sets of lyrics presented in the indictment could be admitted in the trial.