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'I am innocent' | Rapper Gunna releases first public statement since arrest in YSL RICO case

In his letter, Gunna highlighted his commitment to his art and decried the circumstances Black communities and artists face.

ATLANTA — Atlanta rapper Gunna declared his innocence Tuesday in a public letter, his first statement since being arrested and jailed in the Young Slime Life RICO street gang case in Fulton County.

In his letter, Gunna highlighted his commitment to his art and decried the circumstances Black communities and artists face.

"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," Gunna wrote. "It is a sad reality that slavery is still alive in America today and still affect my people. In 12 states more than half of the prison population is Black, one of those states is Georgia."

The case has ensnared Gunna and several others associated with Young Thug's "Young Stoner Life" label - including Young Thug himself, whom prosecutors have characterized as the leader of the gang.

Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens, was denied bond in May and, absent any new legal development, stands to remain in jail until the case comes to trial - which is expected in early January.

RELATED: Atlanta rapper Gunna denied bond by Fulton County judge

In his letter, Gunna said he would not be deterred by the charges he faces.

"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," he wrote. "When I was free, I tried to be good and kind to the community around me and, when I am released, I will do the same thing all over again."

He said that despite his arrest, "2022 has been one of the best years of my life."

"I used my art form, my gift from God, to change my circumstances," he wrote. "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, for my life and to be able to provide for my loved ones."

See Gunna's full letter in the tweet below:

   

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