There continues to be a lot of discussion over the use of rap lyrics in criminal cases. California has passed a measure to limit a prosecution’s ability to use lyrics as evidence. Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams also spoke out about her concerns about the tactics.
If there’s been one person who hasn’t been deterred from the criticism, it’s Fulton County DA Fani Willis. Willis’s office has received criticism due to the usage of lyrics from Young Thug and Gunna within the 56-count indictment against 28 members of the (YSL) imprint. On Monday, Willis announced that 26 suspected members of the Drug Rich Gang, who prosecutors allege are behind a string of high-profile home invasions, among other violent crimes, will be brought up on RICO charges, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Sixteen victims are said to have been targeted in burglaries, including Mariah Carey and Atlanta Falcons star Calvin Ridley. Investigators used rap lyrics, music videos, and social media posts to build the RICO case and tie the alleged gang members to the indictment. When reporters asked Willis about targeting rappers in these investigations, she doubled down that the crimes were confessed on an open forum.
“I’m not targeting anyone, but you do not get to commit crimes in my county and then decide to brag on it, which you do as a form of intimidation and not be held responsible.” Willis doesn’t seem to be backing down and went even further to warn those who may commit a crime in Fulton County.
“I think if you decide to admit your crimes over a beat, I’m gonna use it,” she said. “I’m going to continue to do that; people can continue to be angry about it. I have some legal advice: don’t confess to crimes on rap lyrics if you do not want them used — or at least get out of my county.”