COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, remains behind bars on RICO charges involving ties to Young Slime Life gang, but that's not stopping him from holding a family fun event this weekend in the College Park community he's from.
Gunna Fest 2022 takes place on Saturday, and most people 11Alive's Dawn White spoke to said they support the event despite the rapper facing racketeering charges.
The once busy parking lot along Old National Highway doesn't look like much now, but that'll change shortly.
“I think that’s nice," Jeffrey Campbell, a native of College Park, said. "They always like to give back to the community."
Gunna, just like Campbell, hails from College Park and always tries to find different ways to give back to the community when he can.
“You’re right down the road," Campbell said. "You’re like a brodie, you know?”
Campbell feels like Gunna is a brother and that the rapper was managing to hold the event long in the works despite being in Fulton County Jail.
“To still be committed while you have all this stress and pressure upon you, you still have the time to say, ‘I want to give back to my community, and I know somebody is probably in a worse predicament than me, and I can still help them out because I have the funds to,’ that’s great," Campbell said.
Jasmine Crowe, founder and CEO of the company Goodr, is organizing Gunna Fest. She previously worked with Gunna to launch a grocery store for kids in need at his former middle school.
“This area matters to him, and it matters to his family," Crowe said. “We're going to have rides, games, lots of characters, face painting, balloons, food trucks. It's really just a free day for families to come out and really have a good time.”
Gunna remains in prison with rapper Young Thug and more than two other alleged gang members.
“I really look at it as, you know, you are innocent until proven guilty," Crowe said. "It's a tough situation. But no matter what, he wants to give back. And I think that that's what people are going to remember.”
Joseph Lawrence, a resident of College Park, plans to bring his son to Gunna Fest.
“If I’ve already set this in stone, and it’s supposed to happen on this day, whether I’m in jail or not, if it’s already paid for, it’s going to happen," Lawrence said.
Lawrence stated how the rapper and his family does good for the community, noting that they have done a lot of drives that help give back to the community, such as back to school, Thanksgiving, and seasonal events.
"Not everyone in the community gives back," Lawrence stated.
Former City of South Fulton Mayor Bill Edwards proclaimed Sept. 16 "Gunna Day," so the rapper wanted to have the event close to the important occasion. South Fulton borders College Park.
Gunna Fest will run from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday in the old Target parking lot at 5021 Old National Highway in College Park.