Young Thug and Gunna Arrested image depicting the two rappers.

Young Thug And Gunna's RICO Charges

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Updated Dec 15, 2022 at 10:48AM EST by Owen.

Added May 10, 2022 at 09:45AM EDT by Owen.

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About

Young Thug And Gunna's RICO Charges refers to trap hip-hop artists Young Thug and Gunna being arrested for street gang charges in early 2022 along with 28 others a part of YSL in Atlanta, Georgia. The charges inspired reactions and memes from fans across social media, predominantly on Twitter. The two are known for creating the song "Pushin' P."

History

On the night of May 9th, 2022, 28 members of the Young Slime Life (YSL) street gang were indicted in Georgia under the state's RICO act and street gang charges under 56 counts.[1] YSL is a gang that was founded by Thug and three others back in 2012. It is affiliated with the Bloods gang. The primary charges levied against the members date back to 2013 and 2018. The charges include, “Preserving, protecting and enhancing the reputation, power and territory of the enterprise through acts of racketeering activity including murder, assault and threats of violence.”

By May 10th, it became known that Thug was being held in Fulton County Jail while Gunna had not officially been arrested although he'd been accused of conspiracy to violate the state’s RICO act.[1] Young Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel, told local media on May 10th that, “Mr. Williams committed no crime whatsoever” and that he would “fight till his last drop of blood to clear him” (shown below).


Online Reactions and Memes

The news broke on the night of May 9th, 2022, via multiple tweets from news outlets that racked up engagement. For instance, South Florida news anchor Michael Seiden posted a tweet[2] about the breaking news on May 9th, earning roughly 28,200 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Additionally, a photo of Young Thug being taken into custody was tweeted[3] by Michael Seiden, earning roughly 2,700 likes in the same amount of time (shown below, right).


Michael Seiden @SeidenWSBTV BREAKING: Rappers @youngthug , @1GunnaGunna among 28 defendants charged in 56 count indictment in Fulton County. My colleague @MarkWinneWSB & I have exclusive details. @wsbtv 9:30 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone 11.7K Retweets 15.3K Quote Tweets 28.2K Likes C-G 25

Reactions and memes to the news surfaced on Twitter going into the days following. For instance, on May 9th, 2022, Twitter[3] user dontcallmesov tweeted a crying photo from the TV show This Is Us, captioning it, "gunna and young thug?? 56 COUNTS???" The tweet earned roughly 111,700 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Also on May 9th, Twitter[4] user ihyjuju captioned the photo from the Saul Goodman 3D meme with, "young thug n gunna needa call this mf," earning roughly 48,700 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).


prejudice against big naturals @dontcallmesov gunna and young thug???? 56 COUNTS????? 9:41 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone juju @ihyjuju ... young thug n gunna needa call this mf 10:21 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone

Free YSL

Amid the growing story, the phrase, "Free YSL" started trending on Twitter, being said by fans who believed the arrests were unfounded. For instance, on May 10th, 2022, Twitter[5] user jeandeauxmusic tweeted, "Free YSL! Arrest jack harlow!!!!" earning roughly 1,000 likes in six hours (shown below).


JEAN DEAUX° @jeandeauxmusic Free YSL! Arrest jack harlow!!!! 2:07 AM · May 10, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone 225 Retweets 60 Quote Tweets 1,005 Likes

Gunna's Release in December 2022

On December 14th, 2022, the Twitter[6] account for WSB-TV (a local Atlanta news station) tweeted a video of Gunna walking out of jail (shown below), reporting that he was released from Fulton County Jail hours after pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy. Gunna entered a negotiated plea, also known as an Alford plea, in which he (the defendant) doesn’t admit he committed the crime but acknowledges that it is in his best interest to plead guilty.[7] According to WSB-TV, "Gunna was sentenced to five years with one served in prison. The one-year sentence was commuted to time served. The four-year remaining balance on his sentence has been suspended and will be subject to special conditions including 500 hours of community service."[7]


In a statement reported on by WSB-TV,[7] Gunna said:

“While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way.”

WSB-TV's video on Twitter[6] received roughly 3.5 million views in less than a day, mostly due to viral reposts of the video from the Twitter[8][9] pages of RapTV and XXL Magazine. For instance, RapTV's tweet received roughly 67,300 likes in less than a day.

Online Reaction and Memes

In the replies of RapTV's tweet[8] and XXL's tweet[9] as well as across Twitter and TikTok, multiple fans of Gunna, YSL and hip-hop in general reacted to the news and viral video. For instance, many made jokes about Gunna snitching despite his claim that he had not cooperated with authorities. As an example, on December 14th, 2022, Twitter[10] user shannonsharpeee tweeted a sketch video from Druski in which he's playing an obvious snitch with a police wire. The tweet received over 4,000 likes in less than a day (shown below).


Others did not want to believe that Gunna had snitched, like Twitter[11] user and rap personality Lil Duval who tweeted, "Nobody should pin snitch on gunna unless thugga say it," gaining roughly 6,800 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Others humorously imagined Young Thug's reaction to Gunna's release, like Twitter[12] user LAxFLAME on December 14th who used Squidward Looking Out the Window to represent Young Thug, gaining roughly 13,500 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).


ARISHAS ROKE lil duval @lilduval Nobody should pin snitch on gunna unless thugga say it 7:04 PM Dec 14, 2022 FLAME @LAXFLAME Young Thug seeing Gunna get released from prison 3:55 PM Dec 14, 2022

Various Memes


Glory Boy @CheatKeef Replying to @NotMqsvn Who's Mug shot is better? SHERIA ATON forne PATRIC 11:33 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone “Thug and Gunna have been arrested" ME Cas 11:44 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone this gon be gunna the minute they pull out that mcdonalds 69 10:23 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone hasanabi @hasanthehun biden should free young thug 10:09 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone 1,848 Retweets 122 Quote Tweets 15.5K Likes Young thug is innocent y'all got the wrong man @fbi EXCLUSIVE Peop EXCLUSIVE 10:50 PM · May 9, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone

Search Interest

External References

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