Legal documents are boring. That is just about the only reason I can think of for why more people aren't talking about the latest developments in the ongoing saga of Young Thug/Birdman v. Lil Wayne. In case you haven't heard or read our post of the indictment on Thursday, both Young Thug and Birdman are alleged (you'll be seeing that word a lot) to have been involved in a conspiracy to have Lil Wayne killed. I'll say it again, if these allegations prove true, it means that two very high-profile celebrities were involved in the murder plot of another very high-profile celebrity. Why aren't more people talking about this?!? In the eternal words of Mugatu, "Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"
I'm assuming that most people took one look at 17 pages of legal rhetoric and decided against reading the entirety (or even a portion) of the indictment. Luckily, I am here to be your guide, sifting through page after nap-inducing page to give you the biggest takeaways from what really amounts to a mindblowing set of alleged revelations. I'll tell you what you need to know and try to translate names and language to make things a little easier to understand. As I believe this is accomplished best through a straightforward list, those takeaways are as follows:
- You should be familiar with the feud's background at this point, but to recap, the situation began with a contract dispute between Wayne and Birdman. Having recently signed a business deal with Birdman, Young Thug aligned himself with the hand-rubbing mogul and the Thugger/Weezy beef went public. The two exchanged verbal jabs, Thug posted videos threatening Wayne and of course ripped Wayne’s album name before swapping out the “Carter” title for “Barter.” It was all fun and games, minus the death threats. However, after reading this indictment it would appear that the war of words may have become something far more akin to an episode of The Wire or a mob movie.
- Things took a serious turn on April 26, when Jimmy Winfrey, also known as "PeeWee" and "Roscoe,” the alleged shooter in an incident, fired several shots at a pair of Lil Wayne's tour busses. He was allegedly alone while driving a white Chevy Camaro at the time, and fired the shots whilst he and the two busses were speeding down a Georgia highway. While there were 12 people aboard, thankfully none were harmed as a result of the shooting.
- So what actually happened? To make a long story short, on or around the day of April 26, Young Thug performed in Wayne’s hometown of New Orleans while Wayne did the same in Thug’s hometown of Atlanta. The documents state that PeeWee, who was based in Atlanta, left his location to head to Wayne's concert venue as Weezy started performing. After the show, and once the busses pulled away, escorted by police, PeeWee allegedly followed in pursuit and waited for the cops to pull away before speeding up and firing the shots. Afterwards, he also drove to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where the busses had arrived post-shooting, though the indictment does not specify any activity at that location.
- Okay, but where do Thug and Birdman become involved? To start off, PeeWee is a very close associate of Thug, the two having appeared in records, videos and pictures together countless times. You may remember him from such classics as the "Halftime" music video, where he was seen holding an assault rifle (more on this later)! The strongest connection the indictment makes are phone calls from PeeWee to a cell phone connected to Young Thug before and thereafter PeeWee left to head to Wayne's venue, and a call with a cell phone owned by Birdman shortly after the shooting occurred and while PeeWee was en route to the Mandarin Oriental. I've reached a line where I don't want to necessarily assume anything, and I'm not even certain it was Birdman or Thug on the other end of those calls, but the timing is veeeeeery coincidental. While I hesitate from jumping to any conclusions - remember that neither Thug nor Birdman has even been arrested (for this at least) - the picture the indictment paints is one of an orchestrated plot for murder, and reading all the facts juxtaposed together surely makes it sound convincing.
- The Blood connection is of the utmost importance here. The indictment established that PeeWee, Thug, Birdman and Wayne are all Bloods, with Thug being a high ranking member of the Young Slime Life (YSL) subset. This is why they "might just get hit with the R.I.C.O." (thanks, Drake), or rather, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which was created to allow the leaders of a criminal organization to be tried for any crimes they may have ordered without actually committing the crimes themselves. As it pertains to gangs, this allows for Birdman and Thug to possibly receive criminal penalties without directly committing a crime due to their ongoing involvement as Bloods. Remember how Thug swapped a "C" for a "B" in the Barter VI title? It's not as harmlessly clever when it further connects you to a crime. It's also interesting to note the inclusion of explanations like "gang culture revolves around violence, money and firearms" and "gang members lose status within the gang if they are disrespected and take no action in response" in the legal context. What seems very real in the streets seems almost caricatural in this setting.
- In addition to gang affiliation, artistic content is also being heavily used as evidence in the indictment. Remember that "Halftime" music video I mentioned? It doesn't help Thug's case for innocence that he has a music video that includes an assault rifle similar to one PeeWee was seen with at Wayne's concert venue, and PeeWee is holding said assault rifle in the music video. For a song, nonetheless, that seemingly contains death threats directed at Wayne! Music and music videos are certainly art, and should be regarded as such, but in the context of this entire situation I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't find a pretty clear connection between art and real life. The ignorance displayed here rivals only the fact that PeeWee was driving the same white Camaro whilst (allegedly) shooting at busses that he had posted a picture with on his Instagram. I certainly don't condone any crime that may or may not have taken place, but for at least the sake of basic intelligence, it's probably not a wise idea to publicly parade around with anything that might land you a life sentence. For your information, he also tried to hide the car, albeit unsuccessfully.
- Atlanta Police, what the hell? According to the indictment, the city's police department not only observed the arrival of PeeWee and other Blood members, observed that PeeWee had an assault rifle in his car, feared for Wayne's safety due to possible gang violence and tried to detain PeeWee, but they failed to do anything about it at the time. To better help you understand, consider the following very unlikely, but possible interaction:
Cop: Hey mister, those are some pretty sweet gang tats, and that assault rifle sure looks pretty badass!
PeeWee: Thanks, but I’ve actually got to leave, I’ve got to go shoot up a….uh….shoot a music video.
Cop: Oh hell yes, you might want to follow them there tour busses right there. That Lil Wayne is in one, he might be able to help you out with that music!
PeeWee: I appreciate it, I’ll just call up my….uh….associate and be on my way.
Cop: *sudden realization of what just happened* Hey wait a second! *chases after white Camaro* Waaaaaaaaaait!
All in all, this entire WeezyThugBaby saga has reached insane heights. You can laugh all you want at all the TMZ headlines of Birdman throwing a drink at Wayne, or Wayne telling his fans not to buy an album from someone who poses naked on the cover, but after reading this indictment the laughter becomes difficult. The indictment specifically mentions Young Thug making a threat, and PeeWee carrying that threat out. That's some serious shit. I sincerely hope these allegations aren't true, but if they are proven as such it could mean some serious, long-term criminal effects for some very famous people. With Wayne recently saying he "appreciated" the Barter VI, I can only wonder, did he read the indictment? I'd love to hear his thoughts on it. Anyway, hopefully this cleared things up for you, feel free to read up on the entirety of the indictment if you'd like a more complete and formal back story.
[By Brendan Varan. He is alleged to have written this article, allegedly. Follow him on Twitter.]