Gunna, who is currently behind bars, has shared an open letter to his fans and the public. In the letter, he addresses the impending racketeering case against him, Young Thug, and a number of alleged “Young Slime Life” associates in the 56-count state indictment. The 29-year-old rapper insisted on his innocence, writing, “I am being falsely accused and will never stop fighting to clear my name!”
“2022 has been one of the best years of my life, despite this difficult situation,” Gunna shared. “This year I had the world pushing P.”
“I worked every day to show God how grateful I am for my gift, for my art, for my life and to be able to provide for my loved ones,” he continued. “For now, I don’t have my freedom. But I am innocent.”
The rapidly flourishing rapper, who graced the March digital cover of Billboard alongside Thug, also delved into his marginalized upbringing and being witness to “Black Men, Black Women and Black Children constantly attacked, hated, murdered, berated, belittled, silenced, judged, used and held captive.”
The letter comes on his 29th birthday, which he is spending in a Fulton County jail in Georgia after his bail was denied, with the judge citing the potential “danger to witnesses and other folks tied to this,” according to Rolling Stone. Some Twitter users were appalled by the use of the Grammy-nominated Atlanta rapper’s lyrics mentioning guns, murder, and gang affiliation in the extensive indictment as evidence, calling out the move as a racially motivated violation of the First Amendment. In states such as Maryland, a court ruled that lyrics are admissible as evidence, a tactic disproportionately targeting Black defendants. In New York, a “Rap Music on Trial” bill was passed, limiting the use of “creative expression” as evidence in court.
“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 the caption of his Instagram post. “I was raised to fight fire with water, even tho my country’s amendments have failed me! PROTECT BLACK ART!”
On June 9, Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Entertainment, published a Change.org petition to “Protect Black Art,” garnering over 29,000 of its 35,000 signature goal. In its description, Liles wrote, “The allegations heavily rely on the artists’ lyrics that prosecutors claim are ‘overt evidence of conspiracy.’ In the indictment, Fulton County prosecutors argue that lyrics like ‘ready for war like I’m Russia’ are a confession of criminal intent.”
See Gunna’s full letter below.