Rap sensation and Atlanta native Sergio Kitchens, known worldwide as Gunna, turned himself in to the Fulton County Sherriff’s office on May 11th, 2022.
Gunna, alongside a multitude of Atlanta rappers known collectively as YSL, were charged with a 56-count indictment. These charges include racketeering, drug possession and distribution, murder, and gang-related offenses. Gunna was charged with the possession of methamphetamine, hydrocodone, and marijuana.
Fairly new laws set in Atlanta decreased penalties for those in possession of under an ounce of marijuana, comparable to penalties given for speeding. For the average smoker (excluding distributors), this law does not decriminalize the possession of the drug, but protects those from serving time in jail, or paying a hefty fine. However, those who distribute, or make enough income to purchase very large quantities, such as Gunna, are not protected. Possession of over 10 pounds of the substance is considered trafficking, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Unlike marijuana, there are no laws protecting those who possess methamphetamine. Possession of the drug alone is considered a felony, with a sentence between 2 and 15 years, as well as a fine up to $100,000. With intent to distribute, these punishments elevate to 5 to 40 years in prison. The possession of over 28 grams is considered trafficking. While it’s possible that the ‘Drip or Drown’ rapper could very well possess this sort of substance, as well as that large of a quantity, Atlanta law firm Ghanayem & Rayasam LLC include a statement in their article referring to methamphetamine laws in Atlanta, stating, “Many of my past clients have been charged with Possession of Methamphetamine simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or what in Georgia law is referred to as ‘mere proximity'”. Gunna’s alleged involvement with meth, according to Ghanayem and Rayasam, could very possibly be a case of “mere proximity”, considering the 28 other YSL members facing RICO charges.
With opioid abuse rising nationwide, it isn’t shocking to see hydrocodone on the list of drug charges Gunna has received. hydrocodone, classified as a schedule II (classified 1-5, 1 being most punishable, 5 least), earning possessors 1 to 30 years in prison.
YSL’s gang affiliation brought a number of issues into the rockstar lives of the 28 members arrested. YSL, an abbreviation for ‘Young Stoner Life’, is a record label based in Atlanta, founded by Jeffery Williams; a friend of Gunna, a top 100 monthly listener artist on Spotify, and much better known as Young Thug worldwide. YSL became more than just a record label, however. All artists on Thug’s label have a common theme when it comes to representation: the use of the colors red or green, the “Slatt” hand motion, slime, and snakes, all correlate to the street gang Bloods. Involvement in gang-related activities, such as distribution of illegal substances and gang violence, especially in the major city of Atlanta, destroyed YSL, leaving Gunna, Young Thug, and the rest of YSL in shambles.