/  07.12.2022

NBA YoungBoy, born Kentrell Gaulden, appeared in a Los Angeles federal courtroom on Tuesday (July 12) for the first of two felony gun possession trials. The judge approved his request to exclude the use of his rap lyrics as evidence. 

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner’s decision is a critical ruling in the rapper’s favor. Prosecutors requested to use lyrics from his songs “Gunsmoke,” “Life Support,” and “Lonely Child.” They wanted to prove YoungBoy’s “familiarity and knowledge of FN, the high-end manufacturer of the gun found in (his) car that he denies knowingly possessing” by using the lyrics “FN, Glock, MAC-10s” from his song, “Gunsmoke” as evidence.  

Gaulden’s attorneys successfully blocked the request and cited that his lyrics were irrelevant. “These lyrics are highly prejudicial as they discuss hardcore rap which has been empirically established to be more negatively received than other genres of music. It would be one thing if the music described this arrest. But a song referencing a similar gun well before the gun in the indictment was purchased and another song referencing a jeweler whose relationship with Mr. Gaulden is not in dispute offer very minimal probative value and are substantially outweighed by the prejudice contained within the words of the songs,” Gaulden’s legal team led by Baton Rouge lawyers James P. Manasseh and André Bélanger wrote.

Gaulden’s defense team argued, “Even if Mr. Gaulden is familiar with various models of guns and sings about them, it does not mean that he knew this particular gun was secreted on the passenger floor of the Maybach when police attempted to pull his car over to arrest him.”

The Los Angeles trial is expected to last four days. Meanwhile, the Louisiana trial is delayed, but Gaulden’s team already received a ruling in the rapper’s favor. The judge decided to exclude personal videos seized as evidence due to an improper search warrant. NBA YoungBoy is currently serving a pre-trial house arrest after he was released from prison in October. He pleaded not guilty in both cases that can land him years in prison if convicted.

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