Gunna has been denied bond for a gang-related charge brought against him earlier this month. Fox 5 Atlanta reported that the rapper, born Sergio Kitchens, pleaded not guilty to one racketeering charge during a May 23 hearing in Fulton County, Georgia. A judge made the decision after prosecutors argued that Gunna could intimidate potential witnesses if released, claiming he was in a “command position” in YSL, the record label that prosectors allege is a gang. The rapper’s legal team contested those claims to Vulture. “We believe when the court hears evidence, not just the words of the prosecutor, it will find that Sergio’s release on bond will not, directly or indirectly, pose a significant risk to witnesses,” said Steve Sadow. Gunna’s trial is set for January 9, 2023. The rapper was scheduled to perform over a dozen shows since the arrest, some of which have already been canceled.
Gunna’s charge came as part of a larger indictment against YSL, the label founded by Young Thug, a mentor to Gunna who was also arrested. An emergency bond hearing for Young Thug, born Jeffery Williams, has been delayed, after a judge initially denied him bond. Young Thug’s attorney is requesting the emergency bond due to the rapper’s alleged “inhumane” imprisonment, per Fox 5.
The case against YSL — encompassing 28 rappers and associates in total, also including Yak Gotti, Duke, and Young Thug’s brother, Unfoonk — has already been closely watched as the latest incident of prosecutors targeting hip-hop. In the initial indictment, prosecutors cited a number of rap lyrics as evidence of alleged gang activity, despite an ongoing push to view rap lyrics as artistic and fictional and remove them from evidence.