Young Thug court recap, Week 4: ‘Pushin P’ music video played in court

Lil Wayne, LeBron James and Serena Williams all referenced at trial
Atlanta Rapper Young Thug is seen moments before the start of the second week of his trial at Fulton County Superior Court on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.
Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta Rapper Young Thug is seen moments before the start of the second week of his trial at Fulton County Superior Court on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023. Miguel Martinez /

The fourth week of the slow-moving gang trial against Atlanta rapper Young Thug featured a single witness who grew up on Cleveland Avenue and said he’s familiar with each of the remaining defendants in the case.

Trontavious Stephens, also known as “Tick,” spent a fifth day on the stand Thursday. The admitted YSL co-founder was asked questions about fashion, rap stars and whether he thinks professional athletes co-opt so-called “gang symbols” during their on-court celebrations.

A day earlier, Stephens looked on as jurors watched the music video for the hit song ‘pushin P’ in its entirety.

“Is this an SNL sketch?” one person asked in the comment section of a YouTube channel livestreaming the court proceedings. Thousands of fans and other interested parties have logged on each day to watch the first four weeks of trial.

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, is accused of being the cofounder and leader of “Young Slime Life,” which prosecutors allege is a criminal street gang based in south Atlanta.

The Grammy winning musician has been in jail since May 2022, when a Fulton County grand jury returned a sprawling gang and racketeering indictment against Williams and 27 others, including popular rapper Gunna.

Williams’ attorneys say their client is innocent of all charges and contend that YSL, or “Young Stoner Life,” is just the name of the star’s record label.

Stephens is testifying against the defendants as part of a plea deal he took in late 2022. He told Williams’ attorney, Brian Steel, that he had been at Rice Street nearly eight months following his arrest in the high-profile racketeering case.

Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, speaks to his lawyer Brian Steel during the Jury selection portion of the trial at Fulton County courtroom on Monday, Feb 6, 2023. Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

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Credit: Miguel Martinez

He said the food was gross, the jail was filthy, people were killed and he wasn’t able to go outside. The 30-year-old also said that he missed Christmas and couldn’t be there for his children.

Facing a lengthy prison sentence as a recidivist, Stephens agreed to take the state’s plea deal in exchange for his cooperation. He was released from the Fulton jail the same day.

Lead prosecutor Adriane Love got him to admit under oath that YSL was a gang and name all six remaining defendants as members. But Stephens said anybody could “claim” affiliation with the group, and that many did as Williams’ songs topped the charts and his popularity spread well beyond their low-income neighborhood.

Williams became a trend-setter, Stephens acknowledged on the stand. And as his popularity grew, people started emulating his style of dress. Some wore skinny jeans and tight necklaces, he said. Others got ‘YSL’ tattoos and even portraits of Williams on their bodies.

“Did Mr. Williams put forth a gangster rap image on social media?” Steel asked him.

“Yes,” Stephens replied.

Trontavious Stephens, a defendant originally named in the YSL indictment, testified as a state witness in the ongoing YSL trial at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta on Wednesday, January 3, 2024. (Arvin Temkar /


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The jury was shown photos of outfits designed by Williams for his fashion label, a 2016 album cover in which he’s wearing a dress and a photo of the rapper that appeared in GQ magazine alongside a story about him.

Stephens said despite all of his commercial success, it wasn’t uncommon for Young Thug to give his old friends money for rent, put them up if they needed a place to stay or let them borrow one of his high-end vehicles.

“There’s a drawer in his house with all the keys in it,” Stephens said. “And I don’t even ask. I just grab it ... Sometimes he didn’t even know I was gone.”

Stephens said Williams also encouraged him to stop selling drugs and even offered him a job helping out on tour.

Aside from spending five days on a single witness, proceedings were halted on Tuesday when one of the defense attorneys got sick and couldn’t make it to court. Then on Wednesday afternoon, the trial was Zoom-bombed by a Young Thug supporter for the second time in the case.

As the jury was being dismissed, someone logged onto the courtroom Zoom call and began yelling, “Free Thug! Mistrial!”

Judge Ural Glanville asked the attorneys in the case to share the Zoom link only with necessary personnel.

Court is adjourned through the rest of next week and Stephens’ testimony is expected to resume Jan. 22.