Young Thug has reportedly added hip-hop historians and authors to the witness list for his upcoming trial.
According to AllHipHop, Young Thug’s lawyer submitted a list that includes hip-hop and lyrical experts, as well as authors and professors, who will serve as expert witnesses in the rapper’s trial on gang charges. Among the list of hip-hop culture experts, which was reportedly submitted on Sunday (December 18), is Dr. Erik Nielson, co-author of the 2019 book Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Guilt in America.
Dr. Adam Dunbar, associate professor of the University of Nevada’s criminal justice department, and Dr. Charis Kubrin of the University of California will also appear in court on Young Thug’s behalf, AllHipHop reports. Dunbar and Kubrin are both listed as “lyric experts” on the witness list, while Nielson is described as a “hip-hop historian”. Alongside those experts, the rapper has reportedly enlisted a cell phone expert, drug treatment counsellor, and a video analysis expert.
The witness list comes as a number of Young Thug’s co-defendants in the RICO case have reached plea deals. The rapper was named alongside 27 other people in connection to his Young Stoner Life label in a sweeping racketeering indictment following his arrest in May of this year. The indictment alleges YSL to be the centrepiece of a criminal street gang in the state of Georgia.
Fellow indictees included rappers and labelmates Gunna, Lil Duke and Slimelife Shawty – as well as Thug’s brother Unfoonk – all of whom have reached agreements in relation to the case.
Earlier this month, Gunna pleaded guilty to a racketeering conspiracy charge in the case. Known as an Alford plea, the negotiation allowed Gunna to plead guilty on the charge because it was in his best interest while maintaining his innocence on the charge. The rapper’s resulting sentence was to five years with one served in prison.
The one-year sentence was then commuted to time served and the remaining four years of his sentence have been suspended and will be subject to special conditions including 500 hours of community service. Young Thug’s sister, Dolly White, released a statement denying that Gunna had incriminated the rapper. The lawyers for both Young Thug and Gunna have have publicly contested the charges since their arrests.
The YSL RICO trial is set to begin on January 9, 2023.