The rapper, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, spent over half of 2022 behind bars as part of a sweeping RICO indictment that saw him, Thug and 26 other YSL co-defendants locked up on federal charges.
Meanwhile, Thug continues to languish behind bars at Fulton County jail, as Gunna and seven others accepted plea deals that have seen them released from custody, The Shade Room previously reported.
“N****s acting like they switching to a side But it’s only one side . #YslTheLabel #FreeThug&Yak GUNNA BACC!!!!!” Gunna told his 4.5 million Instagram followers.
Gunna notably used the hashtag #YSLTheLabel in relation to Young Slime Life, which prosecutors allege is a violent street gang that operates under the guise of a record label.
Both Gunna and Thug were among 28 individuals arrested last May in a 56-count indictment. Thugger has been behind bars since May 9, 2022, with Gunna being arrested two days later. The defense has claimed YSL is strictly a music and clothing brand.
Jury selection began earlier this week, a process which is “expected to continue through next month.”
“Jury selection is expected to continue until the end of February with opening statements to take place shortly after jurors are selected,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Meanwhile, Gunna has defended himself against accusations that he snitched on his YSL co-defendants, and roundly denied this in a statement obtained by Complex last month:
“When I became affiliated with YSL in 2016, I did not consider it a ‘gang’; more like a group of people from metro Atlanta who had common interests and artistic aspirations. My focus of YSL was entertainment—rap artists who wrote and performed music that exaggerated and ‘glorified’ urban life in the Black community. While I have agreed to always be truthful, I want to make it perfectly clear that I have NOT made any statements, have NOT been interviewed, have NOT cooperated, have NOT agreed to testify or be a witness for or against any party in the case and have absolutely NO intention of being involved in the trial process in any way.”
Gunna went on to say he ultimately chose an Alford plea “which (was) in my best interest, while at the same time maintaining my innocence towards the same charge.”
“I have chosen to end my own RICO case with an Alford plea and end my personal ordeal by publicly acknowledging my association with YSL. An Alford plea in my case is the entry of a guilty plea to the one charge against me, which is in my best interest, while at the same time maintaining my innocence toward the same charge. I love and cherish my association with YSL music, and always will. I look at this as an opportunity to give back to my community and educate young men and women that ‘gangs’ and violence only lead to destruction.”
The Atlanta Constitution-Journal reported that the state intends to call as many as 372 witnesses during Young Thug’s RICO trial, including the likes of Lil Wayne, Killer Mike, Rich Homie Quan, and Birdman.