It’s a sprawling case with more than a dozen defendants. Fulton County prosecutors say the rapper, whose legal name is Jeffery Williams, is the leader of a violent street gang. Defense lawyers argue he’s just an artist falsely accused of being a criminal.
Legal experts say the case will be complicated and drawn out, especially for such a well-known star.
"It’ll be very interesting to watch from all aspects," said Mo Ivory, a law professor and director of the Entertainment, Sports And Media law program at Georgia State University. "We can expect all the things that we’ve ever seen when you have watched a high-profile case."
The witness list for the prosecution and the defense contains hundreds of names, including artists like Lil Wayne, Rich Homie Quan and YFN Lucci.
There were also 157 witnesses affiliated with the Atlanta Police Department.
"Both the prosecution and defense are going to use witnesses high-profile witnesses in the hip-hop community to both prove the case and show innocence on the defense side," Ivory said.
Prosecutors accuse Williams of leading Young Slime Life. They say YSL is a violent street gang that used drugs and committed murders to make money.
"They’re going to try to prove all of the indictments. They will do that by presenting all the evidence which has become very controversial, much of it being the lyrics of Young Thug and the other defendants to prove there were these criminal activities taking place," Ivory said.
But the defense says the rapper is just an artist who’s falsely accused and YSL is just a record label.
"The defendants will do what they have continually been saying, which is to defend that this is not the case at all, that these lyrics are not gang activities but an expression of black art," Ivory said.
L. David Wolfe, a criminal defense lawyer, said to expect a long trial.
"It’s very, very difficult to try a gang act or racketeering act for the defendant," Wolfe said. "It could take, easily four to six to nine months."
Ivory said the case will have widespread implications that will extend beyond the world of hip-hop for years to come.
"Everybody is watching to see what will happen," Ivory said.