RAPPER Gunna broke his silence with a statement on social media on Tuesday as he is spending his 29th birthday in prison after being arrested on RICO charges in May.
Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens, is signed to YSL Records by Young Thug, who are accused of involvement in alleged gang activity in the Atlanta area.
In his statement, Gunna maintained his innocence and claimed he was “falsely accused”.
“2022 was one of the best years of my life despite this difficult situation,” he said, adding that he “made the whole world push P,” in a nod to his hit song “Pushin P,” released in January.
“Growing up in a marginalized area where I come from, I never thought that my art would transform my life and the lives of my loved ones,” he continued, describing the struggles he overcame throughout his life.
Gunna stated that while he currently has no freedom, he is innocent.
“The picture drawn of me is ugly and untrue. My fans know that I love to celebrate life, I love my family, I love travel, I love music, I love my fans.
“I have full confidence that God will grant me justice for the purity of my heart and the innocence of my actions.”
Gunna was charged with conspiring to violate Georgia’s law on thug-influenced and corrupt organizations in an investigation that also indicted 28 other YSL members.
District Attorney Fani Willis said, “It doesn’t matter how well-known you are, how famous you are, if you come to Fulton County, Georgia, and you commit crimes … you become a target and a focus of that prosecution, and we will get you in.” prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”
The arrest came days after the 30-year-old Young Thug, real name Jeffery Lamar Williams, was arrested on May 9 at a rented mansion in Buckhead.
The indictment charges Williams with theft by receiving a stolen handgun in 2013 and threatening to kill a mall worker after he was denied entry to the premises in 2015.
He was also accused of possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone and marijuana in 2017.
Prosecutors claim the suspected gang members committed more than 100 crimes to further their interests.
These allegations include appearing in videos with inflammatory song lyrics, posting images with gang symbols on social media, possession of drugs with intent to distribute, aggravated assault and murder.
Brian Steel, Young Thug’s attorney, said the rapper was innocent and vowed to vigorously defend him until proven.
His attorney told The Sun, “Jeffery Williams, posing as the ‘Young Thug’, vehemently denies the allegations made against him in the May 9, 2022 Fulton County, Georgia indictment.”
During Hot 97’s Summer Jam, Young Thug shared a special message with fans and attendees.
“I just want to say thank you to all my friends and family for coming out and supporting us,” the rapper said in an audio message at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
“You know that your support during this time means a lot to us.”
He then directed fans to the Protect Black Art petition, which calls for federal and state legislation restricting the use of art as evidence in criminal trials.
“This isn’t just about me or YSL,” said Young Thug, who was scheduled to perform at Summer Jam 2022 before his arrest.
“I’ve always used my music as a form of artistic expression and now I see that black artists and rappers don’t have that freedom. Please all sign the Protect Black Art petition and keep praying for us. I love you all .”
The petition was created by music executives Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald and currently has over 32,000 signatures at the time of writing.
Back in May, the New York State Senate approved the Rap Music on Trial Act, which, similar to the petition Young Thug shared, restricts the use of song lyrics in evidence.
Several artists, including Grammy winner Jay Z, have expressed support for the law, which has been touted as the kind of legislation needed to protect creative expression.
Gunna alluded to the petition in the caption of his Instagram statement, writing: “I was raised to fight fire with water, although my country’s changes have failed me! PROTECT BLACK ART!”
https://www.the-sun.com/entertainment/5560691/gunna-statement-young-thug-ysl-arrest-instagram/ Gunna breaks the silence in an open letter as the rapper is serving his 29th birthday in prison following the indictment of YSL and Young Thug