FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Georgia rapper Gunna was denied bond Wednesday after he was arrested on a racketeering charge earlier in the morning. Gunna, whose legal name is Sergio Kitchens, is one of the 28 alleged gang members named in the Fulton County district attorney's indictment.
Kitchens, originally from metro Atlanta's city of College Park is accused of being part of the Young Slime Life gang. Kitchens was taken into custody for violating Georgia's RICO law. Two days prior, rapper Young Thug was also arrested on a similar premise, accused of being the leader of YSL.
People who live near the Cleveland Avenue corridor said they want to clean up the streets but say they are not rushing to judgment when it comes to Kitchens' arrest.
“Sometimes rappers are tied to gangs and activities, sometimes they're involved, sometimes they're not,” said Mario Head who runs the neighborhood organization that includes the Cleveland Avenue corridor. The area is mentioned in lyrics by the Georgia rappers.
Kitchens is facing a RICO violation but is also accused of criminal street gang activity, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, hydrocodone and marijuana, and theft by receiving stolen property. Also included in the indictment are lyrics from music videos featuring Gunna and other rappers, shared on social media, like “Take it to Trial” which has lyrics that read:
"For slimes you know I kill,
Trial, I done beat it - twice
State, I'm undefeated like feds came and snatched me,
I don't know, no point in asking,
I was on Bleveland, stuck like a magnet"
Other lyrics in the same song also seemingly reference the gang he is allegedly part of, which, according to the indictment, brag about getting away with murder and violence and allude to conspiracy.
“YSL slimey and shady
Watch me whack that (expletive), pop 'em
Like a cyst, Glock with the assist."
Head said these lyrics don’t necessarily mean anything.
“This has gone on for decades- rappers all the way back to N.W.A. They always rapped like that. Sometimes those rappers don't live like that and sometimes they do,” said Head.
The community member said despite the charges Kitchens is facing, people can't deny the ways rappers, like Gunna, has given back to the neighborhoods they grew up in.
“I would never speak on anything when I know certain individuals have done a lot in their community,” Head said.
The rapper also helped launch Goodr Grocery Store and Drip Closet last September. The store is housed at his old stomping grounds, McNail Middle School which now hosts the free grocery store. Gunna donated to the initiative.
“Launching the first-ever Goodr Grocery Store with Gunna’s Drip Closet at McNair Middle School has been incredibly impactful," Goodr said in a statement. "The store has fed 100 families each week during one of the nation’s worst economic periods in history. The store will continue to feed families as intended so that this incredible mission continues. “
So as the rapper's case unfolds, Head said their community will just wait and see.
"I like to speak on facts," he said. "Like I said, innocent until proven guilty on that."
11Alive reached out to the Fulton County school district about the rapper's donation and a spokesperson sent the following statement:
"Gunna’s participation was a one-time donation - which was appreciated. Besides him attending the school and making that donation there is no other connection to him,” said a school district spokesperson.
Kitchens will remain at the Fulton County jail until he goes before a Superior Court judge. That date has not been set.