Like a phoenix, Gunna is rising from the rubble of the past year that saw him in a legal battle for his freedom and facing character attacks amid being labeled a snitch. But, on Saturday (Sept. 9), the crowd of fans at the Barclays Center saw him as one of hip hop’s emerging stars clawing his way back into the spotlight.
The performance, dubbed “The Gift,” was his first in two years and came two months after the release of his latest album, a Gift & a Curse. The 30-year-old delivered his new tracks and those from his acclaimed DS4Ever album and had special guests DDG and Flo Milli. With a “Free Jeffery” graphic as his backdrop, he unleashed a medley of tracks like “Hot,” “Ski,” “Oh Okay,” and “Pushin P,” all of which feature Young Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams. In May 2022, the two artists were among 28 YSL associates indicted in a lengthy, 56-count RICO case in Atlanta, Georgia.
Gunna pleaded guilty to a single charge last December in an Alford plea deal. The maneuver made way for him to be released from the Fulton County Jail, where he had been held for seven months. As part of the plea, a federal judge sentenced him to five years in prison — four of which were suspended — and had a one-year sentence commuted to time served with the completion of 500 hours of community service. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, he was adamant in stating that he did not snitch on Young Thug in order to regain his freedom.
“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,” said his statement.
As previously reported by REVOLT, the Atlanta rapper will have a second performance, called “The Curse,” on Sept. 28 in Los Angeles at the YouTube Theater. Thus far, he has released three visuals for the 15-track LP, which debuted in the No. 3 spot on the Billboard 200 chart.
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