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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Matt Watts

Rapper Young Thug arrested in Atlanta street gang probe

Grammy award-winning rapper Young Thug has been arrested on charges that include participating in criminal street gang activity.

The hip hop artist, whose real name is Jeffery Lamar Williams, was one of 28 people charged in the US in a sweeping indictment that focuses on YSL, or “Young Slime Life”, an alleged street gang that formed in Atlanta in 2012.

Some of the other alleged members were charged with crimes including murder, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery.

The rapper, who won a songwriting Grammy for Childish Gambino’s hit This Is America in 2019, is alleged to be one of three founding members of YSL, according to the indictment.

His lawyer Brian Steel told US media the rap star “committed no crime whatsoever”.

Williams is best known for his albums including "So Much Fun" and the 2021 hit "Punk", both of which topped the Billboard 200 charts. He also earned a Grammy nomination for his rap hit "The London", in 2020.

The office of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, known for investigating whether former President Donald Trump tried to influence the state's handling of the 2020 election, has identified gangs as a serious problem for Fulton County.

“I'd say 80% at minimum and probably more like 90% of all of the violence that we are seeing is stemming from the gang problem,” Willis said last week.

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