ATLANTA — Rap star Young Thug, one of the most influential artists to emerge from Atlanta’s famously fertile hip-hop scene, was arrested Monday on suspicion of gang involvement and conspiracy to violate Georgia’s criminal racketeering law. The rapper, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, was indicted in a sweeping indictment before a grand jury that identified him and 27 others as members of the same criminal street gang and accused some of between them of violent crimes, including murder and attempted armed robbery.
Williams reshaped the rap world throughout his decade-plus career and inspired a host of emulators earning three No. 1 albums on the Billboard charts and collaborating with stars from across the rap world and beyond. of the. His arrest comes as Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis — a Democrat best known for investigating voter fraud by former President Donald Trump and his Georgia allies — has vowed to crack down on street gangs in Atlanta, a city reeling from violent crime.
Williams’ arrest at his home in the affluent Buckhead neighborhood was confirmed late Monday by Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Willis’ office, who said several other people named in the indictment had also been arrested. .
The indictment alleges that Williams is one of the founders of Young Slime Life, a criminal street gang founded in Atlanta in 2012 and affiliated with the national Bloods gang. Williams’ successful label was variously called YSL Records or Young Stoner Life Records; the label refers to its artists as part of the “Slime Family”, and a compilation album titled “Slime Language 2” reached No. 1 on the charts in April 2021.
The 28 people named in the indictment have been charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is closely modeled on the federal law that has been most famously used. against members of organized crime. In 2014, Willis helped lead a controversial racketeering lawsuit against a group in which Atlanta public school teachers were accused of cheating on standardized tests. She also raised the possibility that Trump and some of his allies violated the state’s RICO law in their alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.