The Grammys nominations have arrived — but for two of the nominees, their acknowledgment has to be bittersweet. Gunna and Young Thug are learning about it from behind bars while facing the possibility of not only missing the ceremony but also ending up incarcerated for the next several years. They’re nominated for Best Rap Song for Gunna’s song “Pushin P” which also features Future — which is ironic, considering they are both currently locked up awaiting trial on racketeering charges due mainly to their rap lyrics shouting out their crew YSL.
While the acronym stands for Young Stoner Life, the name of Young Thug’s label (where Gunna is one of his premier artists), Georgia prosecutors insist that it’s really a reference to Young Slime Life, a gang they say has ties to the Bloods (an iffy proposition, considering there’s no nationwide organization for the California-based gang or its various spin-offs). The use of the rappers’ lyrics to connect them to supposed criminal activity has been widely criticized both by the music industry and by lawmakers in other jurisdictions, who’ve proposed legislation limiting the use of lyrics, which is seen as racist and unjust. They’ve also been denied bond multiple times, despite prosecutors failing to prove they are a danger to the public.
Gunna and Thug will be competing against Jack Harlow and Drake (“Churchill Downs”), DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, and Jay-Z (“God Did”), Kendrick Lamar (“The Heart Part 5”), and Future and Drake (“Wait For U”). But their real fight will begin before that when they go to trial in early 2023.
Gunna and Young Thug are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.