Gunna has broken his silence for the first time since he was arrested and placed in jail at Fulton County jail.
Gunna, along with Young Thug and 26 others, are alleged to be part of a criminal enterprise- the YSL gang, which Fulton County District’s office says is responsible for the majority of the crime in the area since 2012.
Gunna was slapped with one count of conspiracy to violate Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and has been denied bail as prosecutors allege that he is involved in a commander-type role in the alleged gang and would pose a danger to survivors and witnesses in the case.
The rapper, however, denied that he is involved in any crimes and proclaimed that he is innocent in a lengthy letter he released to fans and the public on Wednesday.
The rapper’s letter began by outlining how his career started to take a turn for the top.
“2022 has been one of the best years of my life, despite this difficult situation. This year I had the whole world pushing P,” the letter began referring to his hit song “Pushing P” from his DS4EVER album.
The rapper also spoke about his upbringing and using rap music to ensure he does not remain in the circumstances he saw growing up.
“Growing up from where I come from in a marginalized neighbourhood, 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.”
“I used my art form, my gift from God, to change my circumstances. I worked, I honed my craft, I worked, I empowered Black Women in my industry, I worked, I lived in the recording studio, I worked, I lived on the road, I worked. I worked every day to show God how grateful I am for my gift, for my art, and for my life and to be able to provide for my loved ones,” the rapper added.
He went on to say that he is innocent and is confident he will be declared innocent.
“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,” he said.
The rapper also spoke about being criminalized as a black man, highlighting how racism affects black men in the U.S., including in the state of Georgia.
“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. It is a sad reality that slavery is still alive in America today and still affecting my people. In 12 states more than half of the prison population is Black, one of those states is Georgia.”
The rapper also added that despite the trials and tribulations he is facing, he will continue to be his best self.
“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.”
He also said he was still pushing P and clarified the meaning of the term, which he didn’t precisely define before.
“We still pushin P: Power, Prayer, Progress, Passion, Productivity, Praise, Precision, Peace, Prosperity, Patience, Pride and Persistence,” he said.
Gunna’s letter was shared in a press release from 300 Entertainment, whose CEO Kevin Liles along with Atlantic COO Julie Greenwald, is promoting the petition for the ‘Rap Music on Trial initiative.’
The label execs are pushing for a law that was recently passed by the New York state senate with the same name to be passed across the U.S to limit prosecutors from being able to use rap lyrics as confessions.
It’s unclear if Young Thug or Gunna would be able to benefit from such a law if passed in Georgia, as laws are not retroactive.