Atlanta

‘Protect Black Art!:’ Rapper Gunna claims innocence in letter to fans from behind bars

ATLANTA — Jailed Atlanta rapper Gunna released a statement from behind bars Tuesday, declaring his innocence and defending his commitment to his art.

Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, was one of 28 people arrested on a sweeping gang indictment against alleged members of the Young Slim Life gang.

[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]

Fellow rapper Young Thug was also arrested in the indictment. Both rappers have been denied bond and stand to remain in jail until their cases come to trial next year.

In a typed letter released on his social media accounts Tuesday, Gunna said he is still writing and praying ever day. He described his living conditions as consisting of just a bed and a shower with no windows.

RELATED STORIES:

“I was raised to fight fire with water, even though my country’s amendments have failed me! Protect Black art!” the rapper wrote.

The rapper said in the letter that he never imagined that his art could change his life and the lives of his loved ones.

[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]

“I use my art form, my gift from God, to change my circumstances,” Gunna wrote. “For now, I don’t have any freedom. But I am innocent. I hate being falsely accused and will never stop fighting to clear my name!”

The rapper called the picture being painted of him “ugly” and defended the his intentions.

“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,” Gunna wrote.

The rapper went on to promise his fans and his community that when he is released, he will continue to give back.

Both Gunna and Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffrey Williams, are facing one charge of violations of the RICO act. Other alleged YSL members face more serious charges including aggravated assault and murder.