A judge dealt a blow to the YSL crew today (June 2nd) after refusing to release one of the label’s prominent rappers, Yak Gotti.
The rapper, born Deamonte Kendrick, is one of 28 YSL members indicted for racketeering. Other rappers accused in the indictment include hip-hop star Young Thug, Gunna, Lil Duke, Slimelife Shawty, and Unfook.
Prosecutors claim YSL is a subset of the Bloods. Officials claim the gang is engaged in drug dealing, shootings, and murders as they feud with the rival YFN gang, which includes rapper YFN Lucci.
Yak Gotti made his appearance for a bond hearing today. His lawyer Jay Abt argued prosecutors were wrong for using the rapper’s lyrics against him and declared their actions would have a “chilling effect” on the music industry in Atlanta.
“He is signed to a nationally recognized recording label. He’s had one platinum and two gold records. He’s got a child who is 7 years old, Dawson, who he helps to raise with that child’s mother. He’s lived in Atlanta his whole life. He’s got a lot of community support. Friends, family, business associates,” Jay Abt said.
“What the government is doing here, in this case, is sending a message to the music industry and the entertainment industry that is going to have a massive chilling effect. It’s a hub in the United States for the music industry and the entertainment industry. And it’s created a tremendous amount of jobs and income and opportunities for young inner-city youth. I would argue to this court that it actually prevented a lot of crime. And what the message that the district attorney’s office is sending to our community into our country is that you better not come to Atlanta and make rap videos because we’re going to use those against you in court,” Jay Abt argued.
However, prosecutors accused Yak Gotti of participating in gang activity since his arrest in May.
They said he was caught using another inmate’s code to use the phone inside the jail. Prosecutors claimed Yak Gotti was using the code to avoid being caught conspiring to sneak a cell phone into the Cobb County Jail.
Yak Gotti was successful in smuggling a phone in. But investigators were aware he had the device inside of the jail. The phones were eventually recovered and confiscated.
It was an uphill attempt for Yak Gotti from the start. He is facing a murder charge for allegedly killing Donovan “Big Nut” Thomas, and he was convicted after a traffic violation with a fully loaded AK-47.
Prosecutors also said Yak Gotti had already admitted to a conspiracy to commit murder charge without elaborating.
Judge Ural D. Glanville ruled that Yak Gotti was a threat to witnesses and that he would attempt to flee. He was denied bond. Yak Gotti’s trial could take place as early as January 2023.