Fat Joe recently spoke about Young Thug’s YSL RICO case, telling a CNN interviewer that it is a “travesty” that lyrics are being used against Thug, saying that nearly 95% of his own lyrics are lies.
With much debate surrounding the use of lyrics as evidence in the YSL RICO case, Fat Joe has certainly made his position known. He told CNN that lyrics are an art form as well as a part of freedom of speech that should not be considered in a court of law. Joe told CNN: “I’ve been rapping professionally for 30 years — I’ve lied in almost 95% of my songs. I’m being honest. I write like I feel that day. I’m just being creative. You couldn’t build a jail high enough for the lyrics I’ve said on songs which are all untrue.”
He continued on to debate lyrics as evidence, saying: “What’s even more horrible is that the district attorneys, they know those lyrics ain’t real. They know that’s creativity. But if it helps their case, they’ll use it to put these guys in jail. . . there really is six defendants in Atlanta who might spend the rest of their lives in jail for something that’s totally not true.”
After the Atlanta judge ruled that lyrics would be admissible on a case by case basis, a few lyrics that will be used as evidence were revealed. From 2018’s “Just How It Is,” the lines “I just beat a murder rap, paid my lawyer 30 for that/ Me and my slimes above the law,” and “Honestly truth be told YSL won’t fold/ Pick his ass off from the balcony/ YSL wipe a n***a nose,” from “Eww” in 2014 were submitted as evidence.
Fat Joe’s opinions seem to mirror others from the rap community, as many have been outraged and frightened by the development of lyrics being used as evidence. Killer Mike, another Atlanta rapper, has said that the idea of lyrics being used against artists as evidence “scares” him and “threatens all Americans’ 1st Amendment rights.”
Many agree, and Fat Joe believes that the YSL RICO case could set a startling precedent for the future if Young Thug is found guilty. With such a famous rap star going on trial with his own lyrics against him, the future of prosecuting musicians could change drastically.