Rappers Young Thug and Gunna are utilizing their celebrity platform to help release inmates in Atlanta’s main jail who are charged with low-level crimes.
Last weekend, the pair posted bonds for 30 inmates at the Fulton County Jail. According to the hip-hop stars, the men and women had petty offenses but did not have enough money to post bail.
YSL Records, the rappers’ label, posted video showing dozens of inmates being released from the jail, which WSBTV reported holds 2,900 inmates and is 400 over capacity.
“If they did the crime, then they can do the time, then it’s all right. But it’s like you’re giving them a bond higher than what they stole,” Young Thug, birth name Jeffrey Williams, told WSB-TV.
“You never know what somebody been through. There was people sitting out three or four years and couldn’t get out on a bond,” said Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens.
“This is where we are from,” Thug said. “We just woke up and went to the jail with the lawyer and, you know, DAs and the prosecutors, you know, the bonding companies and just got as many people as we can out.”
The inmates were also served a home-cooked meal upon their release, and discovered that at some point they will also participate in the filming of a new music video.
The rappers told WSB that this is not the end of their philanthropic endeavors. They want to help release more people from jail and hope their actions will incentivize other artists to do the same.
“It feels so good to the point where you start feeling that’s why God put me here. He put me here to do this,” Thug said.
In addition to the complete strangers receiving Thug’s help, he has also been a conduit of change for his own brother Unfoonk, whom he helped get out of a life sentence for robbery and murder.
Unfoonk, whose real name is Quantavious Grier, sat down for an interview this week with B High ATL and explained how determined his brother was to get him home.
“What the hell I done did?” Unfoonk said about finding himself in prison as his brother’s hip-hop career was taking off. “I know I ain’t trip out like that. I get a call one day ’cause I had a phone, [Thug] called me like, ‘Ay, Brian is still your lawyer.’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ And that’s the top lawyer there is right there. He’s like, ‘That’s your lawyer. You’re coming home. I’m telling you you’re coming home.’ That was in 2017. I talked to Brian and he was like, ‘You’ll be home in two years.’ I came home exactly two years [after that]. I had a whole life sentence but I did eleven [years] and got out.”
Unfoonk returned home in October 2019. Soon after his release, in an interview with The Progress Report, Unfoonk credited his brother for organizing his release from prison. “He made it possible for me to get out,” Unfoonk said. “He put the money behind it. For real.”
Young Thug’s signed his brother to his Young Stoner Life Records in October 2020, and featured him on his breakout track “Real,” from Slime Language 2.