Gunna proclaimed his innocence and slammed the RICO Act violation charges against him — and the use of his song lyrics in the indictment — in his first public statement since turning himself in to authorities last month.
In a note shared on Instagram, Gunna wrote, “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. My fans know I love to celebrate life, I love my family, I love travel, I love music, I love my fans. I have all faith that God will grant me justice for the purity in my heart and the innocence of my actions.”
Gunna — real name Sergio Kitchens — was one of 28 people, including Young Thug, accused of conspiring to violate the RICO Act in a massive indictment targeting those associated with the alleged Young Slime Life gang. Kitchens has pleaded not guilty to one charge of violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering law. At a recent hearing, a judge denied Kitchens bond after prosecutors successfully argued that he was in a “command position” in YSL. His trial is currently set to begin Jan. 9, 2023.
In his note, Gunna insisted that 2022 “has been one of the best years of my life, despite this difficult situation.” Reflecting on the massive success of his music, he said, “I used my art form, my gift from God, to change my circumstance,” while also talking about using his platform to empower others and “provide for my loved ones.”
He also seemed to nod to the way his music is being used against him in the RICO case (prosecutors cited lyrics from several songs in the indictment, which they claim constitute “an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy”; numerous Young Thug lyrics are quoted in the same manner). “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,” Gunna said. “My art is not allowed to stand alone as entertainment, I’m not allowed that freedom as a Black Man in America.”
Gunna made another reference to this in the caption accompanying his letter, which stated, “[J]ust a bed and a shower, no windows just walls. Can’t see or talk to anyone. I’m writing now and still praying everyday. I was raised to fight fire with water, even tho my country’s amendments have failed me! Protect Black Art!”
Gunna closed his letter, which was posted on his birthday, by stating, “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 a bad person. 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.”