28 YSL Associates Arrested on Account of RICO Charges

Michael Angee, Sports Editor

On May 11, charges against 28 associates of Young Slime Life — known as YSL— were arrested as a result of the 88-page indictment filed in Fulton County Superior Court.  

YSL, one of the largest and most impactful creative collectives in the 2010s, helped cultivate the rise of many of today’s rappers, shaping the sound of mainstream rap. 

Young Thug and Gunna are two of the most notable names of those arrested under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act. Referred to as RICO charges, they provide extended criminal penalties to combat organized crime in the United States.  

Much of the evidence against YSL is to prove the group as an organized crime organization rather than a record label. If the charges against the group prove true, Young Thug, Gunna and the other 26 YSL associates could face significant time in prison and greatly impact the hip-hop world as well as the lives of the rappers involved. 

One of the main sources of evidence being used in the case of YSL’s RICO charges are the lyrics of many rappers, which have been heavily combated in past cases. Earlier this year, Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Fat Joe and other music industry titans made strides in New York against using rap lyrics in court, and recently, Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed the “Rap Music on Trial” bill in an effort to pass it into law. 

On May 13, rapper and affiliate to YSL, Lil Keed, died due to organ failure. This occurred only two days after the arrest of the 28 YSL associates. Lil Keed, as well as many other rappers, such as Lil Baby, have cited Young Thug as generous and kind-hearted and as someone who helped them shape their lives and rap careers.