In early May, Def Pen was on hand at RFK Stadium Grounds as Gunna took the stage during Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. Performing alongside the likes of Tems, Ari Lennox and Summer Walker, the Atlanta native showcased his chart-topping album, DS4, and rocked the crowd. At the time, the world did not know that would be his last major performance for the time being.
Hours after performing in Washington, D.C., state officials in Georgia charged Sergio “Gunna” Kitchens, Jeffrey “Young Thug” Williams and 26 other YSL affiliates under the RICO Act. As the public learned more about the charges levied against members of the popular record imprint, critics raised issues law enforcement’s ability to use song lyrics as evidence to bolster their arguments against Young Thug, Gunna and others.
As YSL’s legal battle unfolds, discussions regarding the use of rap lyrics in the state of Georgia have been pushed to the forefront. During a recent interview with Marquise Francis of Yahoo! News, Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams was asked about the use of rap lyrics in the court of law.
“I believe in the First Amendment. I cannot speak to the particulars of this case, but I do think it is a very dangerous precedent to use someone’s written word…as a proof point,” Stacey Abrams said.
However, Abrams declined to comment on the RICO charges levied against YSL because she does “not know enough about [those] particular cases.”
“I do not know enough about these particular cases having not been in the courtroom and having not read the pleadings,” Stacey Abrams continued.
“But I will say that … as someone who believes very staunchly in the First Amendment, I am deeply concerned about any movement towards using a person’s word and their music or their writing as an indictment of who they are and as a proof point without additional supports.”
I asked @staceyabrams about Young Thug and Gunna
"As someone who believes very staunchly in the First amendment, I am deeply concerned about any movement towards using a person's word in their music or their writing as an indictment of who they are." @YahooNews pic.twitter.com/xTZ6v0fzLe
— Marquise Francis (@theMarquiseF) August 8, 2022