Last night, Young Thug was arrested — along with 27 others, including Gunna — and charged with criminal conspiracy under the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act. An 88-page indictment accused Thug’s label, YSL Records of being a gang, charging them with — among other things — armed robbery and murder. The indictment cites as evidence lyrics to songs such as “Ski” and “Slatty” from the group’s 2021 compilation album Slime Language 2, describing Thug’s appearance in these and other music videos as an “overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.”
Today, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis responded to reporters’ questions about the indictment during a press conference. Among the questions were issues of prisoner safety, with some members of the so-called conspiracy charged with targeting rival rapper YFN Lucci in jail, and potential sentences, which could see some members serve life in prison. However, one reporter’s question proved confusing not just for Willis but also for fans watching online. The off-screen reporter mentions a name being excluded from the indictment documents that struck rap fans as out of place: Jack Harlow.
“The indictment’s got Young Thug, and a bunch of other rappers,” he asked. “But there’s one name I was expecting to see, and I didn’t, and that’s Jack Harlow. Can you speak to that?” Willis, presumably unfamiliar with Harlow’s work — there’s a lot of that going around, to be fair — responded with a pat answer about making sure the case focused only on viable targets, but unfortunately for the reporter, the damage was already done as Twitter lit up with bemused and critical responses to his faulty information.
Reporter: ‘The indictment’s got Young Thug, and a bunch of other rappers. But there’s one name I was expecting to see, and I didn’t, and that’s Jack Harlow. Can you speak to that?’
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis responds: pic.twitter.com/13YlMUFiAJ
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) May 10, 2022
It appears that, perhaps in a rush to research potential questions for this afternoon’s conference, the reporter checked Twitter (to be fair, due diligence in this era) for background on the suspects. However, wading into those waters without the proper context and experience can be a bewildering experience for anyone and in this case, it looks like he mistook several joking references to Jack Harlow as proof of his YSL membership.
Ain’t Jack Harlow in YSL too?
— Dre (@WaveyForever) May 10, 2022
I heard Jack Harlow was involved, not Young Thug and Gunna. pic.twitter.com/oinzqJRN2S
— Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) May 10, 2022
Although Jack and Thugger are both on labels distributed by Atlantic Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, Jack is actually a signee of DJ Drama and Don Cannon’s Generation Now imprint, also the home of Lil Uzi Vert and rising rapper Killumantii. Meanwhile, YSL is home to artists such as Lil Keed, Strick, and T-Shyne, as well as in-house producers Taurus, Turbo, and Wheezy. And while your average rap journalist could probably reel off these names from the top of their noggins, crime and city reporters would do well to double-check their sources as the case unfolds.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.