Gunna has broken his silence on the ongoing racketeering case against him, Young Thug and several other members of YSL (Young Slime Life). In an open letter shared on his social media handles on his birthday (June 14), the 29-year-old rapper reflects on the last six months, his living arrangements in jail, and violation of his freedom of speech.
The two-page letter begins with Gunna proclaiming 2022 one of the best years of his life. “2022 has been one of the best years of my life, despite this difficult situation. This year I had the whole world pushing P.”, read the letter. “Growing up from where I come from in a marginalized neighborhood, I never dreamt my art would change my life and the lives of my loved ones.
My entire life, I’ve seen Black Men, Black Women and Black Children constantly attacked, hated, murdered, berated, belittled, silenced, judged, used and held captive.”
The Pushin P rapper revealed how his “gift from God” has changed his life, before asserting his innocence. “For now, I don’t have my freedom. But I am innocent. I am being falsely accused and will never stop fighting to clear my name!” he said.
Gunna, who is signed to Young Thug’s YSL record label, is among 28 individuals named in a 56-count indictment, which includes charges ranging from drug and gun possession to murder. Court documents claim that Gunna was part of a gang that’s “terrorized Atlanta for decades.” The rapper called the accusations against him “ugly and untrue,” and remained confident that the truth will prevail. “I have all faith that God will grant me justice for the purity in my heart and the innocence of my actions,” he said.
Gunna’s letter comes two days after Young Thug, who is also locked up on RICO charges, shared a voice message to Summer Jam fans at the MetLife stadium, where he was originally scheduled to perform. In his message, Thug thanked fans for their support, and urged them to help fuel the Protect Black Art initiative, a law that could prevent prosecutors from using rappers’ lyrics in court against them.
“I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us,” Thug began. “You know, your support during this time means a lot to us, ya know.”
You know, this isn’t just about me or YSL, I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom,” he continued. “Everybody please sign the ‘Protect Black Art’ petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”
In his letter, Gunna, born Sergio Kitchens, also spoke about protecting Black Art, and prosecutors using rap lyrics in court.
“As a Black Man in America, it seems as though my art is only acceptable when I’m a source of entertainment for the masses,” said Gunna. “My art is not allowed to stand alone as entertainment, I’m not allowed that freedom as a Black Man in America.”
Regardless of what his current reality is, Gunna plans to remain focused on his dreams.
“Nothing will stop me from chasing my dreams, I won’t stop being a good person, even if some unnamed and unknown accusers want the world to see me as bad person,” he continued. “When I was free, I was good and kind to the community around me and, when I am released, I will do the same thing all over again.”
Gunna remains locked up in Fulton County jail in Georgia after being denied bond.
“22 & 2, just a bed & a shower, no windows just walls. Can’t see or talk to anyone. I’m writing now & still praying everyday,” Gunna wrote in his Instagram caption. “I was raised to fight fire with water, even tho my country’s amendments have failed me! PROTECT BLACK ART!”
A trial for both Gunna and Young Thug has been set for January 9, 2023.