How Gunna Was Rejected By Hip-Hop & Came Back With A Vengence

Rapper Gunna was at the top of his game when his career was derailed in May 2022. That month, he was arrested as part of the ongoing YSL RICO trial. Until then, Gunna had been highly regarded for his “Drip Season” mixtape series. His 2019 debut studio album, “Drip or Drown 2,” spawned popular singles such as “One Call” and “Speed It Up.” His sophomore album, “Wunna,” released in 2020, further solidified his position in hip-hop, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Shockingly, Gunna was accused of possession and intent to sell a variety of narcotics, receiving stolen property, and general street gang activity related to YSL, which Young Thug has maintained is just a record label. He remains jailed for his role in the RICO case. However, after seven months behind bars, Gunna entered his controversial Alford plea in December 2022. This arrangement allowed him to plead guilty to one charge while maintaining his innocence on that same charge. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which was commuted to time served and 500 hours of community service. He was freed soon after. Many people believed Gunna snitched on Thug, but he maintained that wasn’t true.

The punishment was swift and felt throughout Atlanta. Days after his release, Gunna’s pre-planned charity event with Goodr, which was supposed to give away $100,000 in gift cards to families in need, was canceled. South Fulton Police Department made the decision citing security reasons. The local community was not the only one with reservations about Gunna. His rap colleagues also distanced himself from him. Polo G, Lil Durk, Meek Mill, and even his longtime friend, Lil Baby, no longer wanted to work with the once-popular artist, who has recorded with each of them.

Gunna being shunned from the industry didn’t stop his day-one supporters from showing up for him when he released his June 2023 album, “Gift & a Curse.” The project saw a slight dip in initial sales compared to previous releases, moving 83,000 copies in its first week. Comparably, “Drip Or Drown 2” sold 90,000 copies out of the gate, while “DS4Ever” sold 150,000 copies in its first week and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The lack of promotion for “Gift & a Curse” may have played a role in its lower sales, as well as the snitch allegations. Nevertheless, the album’s hit single, “Fukumean,” proved to be the album’s saving grace. Additionally, he packed out Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in September 2023, his first show since being released from jail. During the sold out show, he shouted “Free Jeffrey,” another show of his loyalty to Thug, despite what the media has reported.

“Gift & a Curse” was certified gold, while “Fukumean” achieved platinum status on its own. His fellow rappers are even embracing him again. Gunna and Offset recently shared their collab, “Prada Dem,” with Gunna using the track to shut down the snitch allegations.

“I set the trend, I’m a trendsetter / I’m not a rat, still gettin’ cheddar,” Gunna raps.

With Gunna’s “The Bittersweet” tour slated to kick off in May, it’s clear people are slowly beginning to gravitate toward the Grammy Award-nominated lyricist.

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