Music

Judge Reportedly Denies Gunna Bond, Sets Trial Date for January 2023

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According to Billboard, Atlanta rapper Gunna is being accused of directing gang members to commit violent acts in the ongoing racketeering case against Gunna’s label, YSL Records. Prosecutors have called the label part of a hybrid street gang, blaming dozens of incidents of violence on the gang’s activity.

Billboard‘s Jewel Wicker reported on the case from the Fulton County court via Twitter, writing that a judge denied Gunna’s bond request as prosecutors described his alleged role in the suspected gang as a “command” role in which he’d “direct their troops” to commit violent acts. Wickers reports, “The judge said his biggest concern was witness tampering.”

In addition to denying Gunna’s bond request, the judge also set the rapper’s trial date: January 9, 2023.

Gunna, real name Sergio Kitchens, was one of 28 suspected gang members arrested, along with fellow rapper and YSL Records founder Young Thug. The 88-page indictment against YSL cites 56 counts of various offenses ranging from armed robbery to murder, with both big-name rappers accused of conspiracy to violate the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, explicitly using lyrics from their records to show their ties to the group.

The case has been criticized by YSL associates like Metro Boomin, who insisted that “YSL is not a gang and never been a gang.” The arrests came weeks before New York’s State Senate passed a bill that would limit the use of lyrics in criminal trials. The bill is currently awaiting approval of the State Assembly before going to the state’s Governor to be signed into law.