The use of 17 sets of lyrics from Young Thug and associates in a RICO case in Atlanta, Georgia, have stirred an uproar a week into the trial. Opening statements in the federal case began on Monday (Nov. 27) and prosecutors have made it clear that the rapper and five YSL artists’ lyrics are being used to corroborate a series of alleged crimes related to murder and gang activity.

“We didn’t chase any of the lyrics to solve any murders,” said Fulton County Deputy District Attorney Adriane Love on Monday. She added, “Law enforcement in Fulton County chased the murders and found the lyrics.”

Vulture reports that the indictment contains lyrics from the following songs:

“Slime S**t,” Young Thug feat. Yak Gotti

“Anybody,” Young Thug feat. Nicki Minaj

“Bad Boy,” Juice WRLD feat. Young Thug

“Just How It Is,” Young Thug

“Mob Ties,” Unfoonk feat. 24 Heavy and Slimelife Shawty

“Fox 5,” Lil Keed feat. Gunna

“Where You From?” Slimelife Shawty

“Take It to Trial,” Young Tug, Yak Gotti and Gunna

“Slatty,” Young Stone Life, Young Thug and Gunna feat. Lil Duke and Yak Gotti

“Ski,” Young Thug and Gunna

Many of the industry’s artists have spoken out in support of restricting the use of music as evidence in criminal cases. Fat Joe, who, like several others, believes that art should not be criminalized, told TMZ on Friday (Dec. 1) that “Hip hop is the art of storytelling, it’s the art of imagination, it’s the art of creativity.”

“I have a bad day, I went in the studio and made a song that I hated the world. I went in there on a day [that] it was all love and I talked about love. So there’s no way, it’s no different than somebody who writes books [or] somebody who does movies. I mean, you can’t be held accountable for art and being creative,” added Joe.

On Thursday (Nov. 30), the Terror Squad head honcho made headlines when he told Gayle King that 95 percent of his raps were laced with lies. When he spoke with TMZ, he clarified that “I wanted to go real strong and say, ’95 percent…’ so that you could get the message. We talking ‘bout freedom of speech. You can make all the music you want… This is entertainment. It’s all entertainment… I saw the lyrics they put on CNN that they [were] using against Young Thug. That was generic… It’s really insane,” he added.

The highly publicized trial is expected to be a drawn out legal battle. Young Thug has been incarcerated since May 2022. If convicted, he faces more than 20 years in prison.