Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
After being arrested on RICO charges in May, Gunna has shared a letter to his social media accounts, saying that he’s been “falsely accused.”
Gunna is opening up to fans on his 29th birthday after being arrested on RICO charges last month. On Tuesday (June 14), the rapper – whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens – gave an official statement after being denied bond at the end of May, given a trial set for January 9, 2023. Although Kitches pled not guilty on one count of allegedly violating Georgia racketeering law, prosecutors accused him of being “not just an associate” of YSL, but a “documented gang member” in a “command position” of the alleged gang.
“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! The picture that is being painted of me is ugly and untrue,” Kitchens wrote in the open letter. “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. My art is not allowed to stand alone as entertainment, I’m not allowed that freedom as a Black Man in America.”
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 . I was raised to fight fire with water, even tho my country’s amendments have failed me! PROTECT BLACK ART! pic.twitter.com/wqsfXAzHJe
— WUNNA (@1GunnaGunna) June 14, 2022
In a recent petition titled “Rap Music on Trial: Protect Black Art,” music executives Kevin Liles of 300 Entertainment and Julie Greenwald, the two referenced the arrests of Kitchens, Young Thug and YSL members.
“Weaponizing creative expression against artists is obviously wrong,” wrote Liles and Greenwald in a joint statement. “But what gets us so upset is what’s happening to Young Thug, Gunna, and YSL is just the most high-profile case. In courtrooms across America, Black creativity and artistry is being criminalized.”
Also in jail, Young Thug delivered a video pleading with the public to sign the Change.com petition.
Both Kitchens and Young Thug – born Jeffery Williams – were named in the 56-count indictment, which also listed 28 YSL members with charges including conspiracy to violate RICO, armed robbery, murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Like Kitchens, Williams was also denied bond in a June 2 hearing preceded over by Judge Ural D. Glanville.