Young Thug is currently behind bars awaiting trial on a pending RICO case, but his recent social media activity has caused quite a stir outside of his cell. The “Lifestyle” rapper recently sent out a tweet asking Michael Phelps for advice.
As previously reported, a tweet from @YoungThug inquired about the possibility of the Olympian swimming “100 miles from the middle of the ocean back to shore.” Phelps later responded with a vote of confidence within the confines of this hypothetical scenario, telling Young Thug’s Twitter account “I think I could make it.”
I'm talking with my roommate and we're wondering if you could swim 100 miles from the middle of the ocean back to shore – @MichaelPhelps ????
— Young Thug ? (@youngthug) August 31, 2022
During a hearing with Fulton County Judge Ural Glanville on Thursday, per regional outlet WXIA-TV, attorney Brian Steel stressed that his client doesn’t have access to a cell phone, nor has he done anything “to obstruct or intimidate” in connection with the RICO case.
“Mr. Williams is in a jail outside of Fulton County,” Steel said Thursday. “There are zero cell phones in that jail. Every one of his communications outside of his legal team are recorded. … He has done nothing, nothing to my knowledge to obstruct or intimidate at all.”
From there, Steel and Glanville went back and forth about the nature of what can be shared with a client, particularly given the circumstances of this case. Steel and the judge disagreed on the issue of discovery, sparking a conversation that ultimately led to Young Thug’s social media activity being brought up by another attorney.
Steel responded by explaining that the Phelps tweets, specifically, were not sent directly by his client.
“That last tweet that was sent out to Michael Phelps is recorded,” Steel said. “iI’s been investigated by the sheriff of that county and it was a conversation that’s recorded between Mr. Williams and a member of his close friendships. He asked the other person who has control of his Twitter account to send that, or the Instagram, maybe. That is not a reason.”
The judge disagreed, however, and instead argued “this is part of the state’s concern.” Steel then reiterated his stance.
“Asking somebody to tweet to Michael Phelps, ‘Can you swim 100 miles in the ocean?’ That has nothing to do with intimidation,” Steel told the court.
Amid ongoing coverage of the case, the issue of using one’s creative expression against them in a criminal setting has continued to garner nationwide attention, both in this case and others. The Rap Music on Trial: Protect Black Art petition, launched by Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald in June, has garnered more than 61,000 signatures and a public show of support from Young Thug himself.
Speaking on the criticism surrounding the practice of using lyrics in criminal cases during a recent press conference, the Fulton County District Attorney asserted that she will continue to utilize it.