Rapper and label owner Young Thug surprised his girlfriend, Mariah The Scientist, with rose petals and balloons in her hotel. Up-and-coming R&B star Mariah The Scientist was in her Detroit hotel room when she received a grand surprise from Young Thug. The “Master” artist received a balloon message that read, “Ms. Sold Out Dates,” referring […]
The post Young Thug Surprises Girlfriend, Mariah The Scientist, With Grand Gesture While Behind Bars appeared first on SOHH.com.
You don’t often think of local politics when you think of rappers but in Atlanta, it seems there’s a growing political class consisting almost entirely of hip-hop artists who like to get involved by popping up at city council meetings and the like. During one such meeting on Monday this week (August 1), 2 Chainz and Killer Mike spoke out against a controversial new ordinance that they believe could have potentially crippling effects on small businesses in the area — including their own (2 Chainz owns a pair of restaurants; Mike has a chain of barbershops, among other interests).
In May, Atlanta’s city council introduced an amendment to current nuisance ordinances that allows the city to close a business deemed a nuisance by a municipal court twice in 24 months. That’s a lot of leeway — especially when business owners are being held accountable for incidents that occur outside their businesses and outside of their control. The amendment is ostensibly aimed at reducing violent crime around the city but owners like 2 Chainz and Mike are concerned it could be used to target Black-owned nightlife establishments, which would eventually be overtaken by franchises, according to Rolling Stone.
As Killer Mike put it during the meeting, “As Atlanta grows, corporations are going to be coming into here. Somebody is gonna have a nightlife in the convention city.” He noted that this could result in a choice between “the owners of Hard Rock [Cafe] or the owners of Hooters or the owners of a W Hotel, or it’s gonna be the little people that went to Frederick Douglas [high school]… and Southwest DeKalb, and schools like that” — in other words, locals. “We will not be electing council people from here, we will not be growing businesses from here. Because it will all be turned over to corporations… Are we going to keep Atlanta a place where local people can grow and thrive here?”
2 Chainz also spoke up, saying, “I’m very blessed, and I also like to be a blessing to others, and that’s what my businesses have allowed me to do. They need to retract some of the things they have on the ordinance. And I think crime is up everywhere, not just in Atlanta.” He’s right; crime is up around the country. It’s also still down from pre-pandemic levels, although that could change because of record inflation, a rising wave of evictions (after protections were removed by the federal government), and other crime-prevention protections expiring or losing funding (in favor of raising police budgets which… don’t prevent crime).
Even Young Thug’s father, Jeffrey Williams Sr., spoke up on behalf of businesses in place of his son (who is currently incarcerated because he rapped about his label, which supposedly has the same name as a gang). “If a crime happens by city hall,” he asked, “Was it city hall that caused it? You’re trying to hold artists responsible for the crime that’s in the city. Now you’re trying to point the finger at the nightlife to be part of the crime in the city.”
RIGHT: “Do the right thing and send this back to committee.”
Killer Mike, w/ an intro by 2Chainz, just gave very critical remarks to the Atlanta City Council on a ‘public nuisance’ proposal he says will target nightclubs and black-owned businesses.@KillerMike @2chainz @cbs46 pic.twitter.com/f5ChbPvuBZ
— Patrick Quinn (@PatrickQuinnTV) August 1, 2022
It’s been a few months since Young Thug, Gunna, and 26 other members of the Young Stoner Life (YSL) record label were hit with numerous charges as a part of a 56-count Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) case. Young Thug, in June, was denied bond. Judge Ural Glanville said there are claims about the rapper, real name Jeffery William, being “a danger to the community.”
This was sad news for the “Go Crazy” performer’s fans. However, his sister posted an optimistic Instagram story today: “Jus leftd from seeing my brother Jeff y’all he good & we have exciting news.”
Young Thug’s sister says she just left from seeing him, and he’s doing good & they have exciting news pic.twitter.com/0mFLp3QVEv
— No Jumper (@nojumper) August 1, 2022
It was announced last month that Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and Rolling Stone Films are working together on a documentary series and podcast about Young Thug, so it’s possible that the exciting news has to do with this. The companies described it as a tale set against “the larger Atlanta hip-hop boom, and the ongoing RICO case against YSL that accuses Young Thug and 27 other alleged collaborators of crimes ranging from racketeering to murder […] The result will be a wild, enthralling story of music, money, crime and hip-hop on trial.”
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.
Over the past few months, rap fans have placed more and more scrutiny on prosecutors who use rap lyrics as evidence in criminal trials against hip-hop artists. While “hip-hop cops” have long been rumored as a fixture of the justice system, cases involving popular rappers such as Young Thug and YoungBoy Never Broke Again have highlighted how that system tries to turn rappers’ creative expression against them. Using literal interpretations of violent lyrics or shout-outs to alleged criminal groups as evidence is increasingly seen as a violation of artists’ freedom of speech; fortunately, a new development may help to protect that right in the future.
A new bill modeled after New York’s “Rap On Trial” law proposal has been introduced in the US House Of Representatives by Congressmen Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). The New York version, which passed the state senate in May, still hasn’t passed the state assembly or been ratified by the governor yet, but its creation turned out to be instructive on the new federal bill, called the Restoring Artistic Protection (RAP) Act (get it?). The RAP Act would change the Federal Rules of Evidence to limit the use of lyrics as evidence.
In a statement, Rep. Bowman said, “Rap, Hip Hop, and every lyrical musical piece is a beautiful form of art and expression that must be protected. Our judicial system disparately criminalizes Black and brown lives, including Black and brown creativity. Evidence shows when juries believe lyrics to be rap lyrics, there’s a tendency to presume it’s a confession, whereas lyrics for other genres of music are understood to be art, not factual reporting. This act would ensure that our evidentiary standards protect the First Amendment right to freedom of expression. We cannot imprison our talented artists for expressing their experiences nor will we let their creativity be suppressed.”
If passed, the RAP Act could protect artists like Young Thug and Gunna, who are accused of alleged ties to a violent street gang. In the racketeering indictment, both are charged with violations of the RICO Act, but the only evidence tying them to the supposed gang is cherry-picked lyrics. Likewise, NBA YoungBoy was given a reprieve from using lyrics to prove he had knowledge of guns when nothing in those lyrics could tie him to the gun found in his car. The burden of evidence should absolutely be higher than “this guy rapped about this thing on a song once, so obviously he did the crime we’re accusing him of.” Thanks to the RAP Act, it could be.
Young Thug’s nephew is now in police custody after he allegedly shot his girlfriend in the face, killing her. He now joins Thugger and Gunna behind bars. Young Thug’s Nephew Charged with Murder According to a report, Young Thug’s nephew is now in police custody after allegedly shooting his girlfriend in the face and killing […]
The post Young Thug’s Nephew In Custody After Fatally Shooting Girlfriend In The Face appeared first on SOHH.com.