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In the midst of his highly publicized legal troubles stemming from a Georgia State RICO indictment, YSL’s Young Thug addressed the crowd at Hot 97’s Summer Jam with a pre-recorded audio message from behind bars.
The message from Young Thug, who was originally scheduled to perform at this year’s Summer Jam, was broadcasted on the big screen at MetLife Stadium – and accompanied by co-signs from a number of important voices including Meek Mill, Polo G, G Herbo, Post Malone, DJ Khaled, and more.
In his address, Thug showed gratitude for the outpouring of support: “I just want to say thank you to all my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us…your support during this time means a lot to us.”
He would also take this opportunity to direct supporters to the “Protect Black Art” Petition, newly created by Kevin Liles (300 Ent) and Julie Greenwald (Atlantic Records) to call for national legislation that would limit the use of art as evidence in criminal trials.
Young Thug went on to say: “This isn’t just about me or YSL…I always use my music as a form of artistic expression and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom. Everybody please sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”
As a result, in under 24 hours the “Protect Black Art” Petition has become one of the top-signed petitions on Change.org with over 15,000 signatures and Young Thug is trending on Twitter. In May, the New York State Senate approved the “Rap Music on Trial” Bill containing many of the same protections that the “Protect Black Art” Petition calls for on a national level.
While the success of these efforts comes as a positive sign, Young Thug, Gunna, Yak Gotti and the 25 other individuals indicted in the YSL RICO case are still being held without bond in Georgia, awaiting trial on a number of very serious charges that come with lengthy mandatory-minimum sentences.