Trapfather Gucci Mane sat down with the editor-in-chief at XXL Vanessa Satten, for a revealing interview on his journey from battling a destructive drug habit that almost took everything he had, to returning home to a new world that was highly anticipating his return. Gucci Mane, perched with his signature over-sized glasses and house arrest anklet, speaks earnestly and with a level of clarity that we’ve never seen before. The Traphouse III rapper reflects on his journey from trapping in East Atlanta to becoming one of the most prolific artist and A&Rs that the rap game has ever seen.
Take a look at five illuminating quotes from this eye-opening conversation with Gucci Mane:
“Music is always changing…always evolving. I’m happy with how music is right now. I’m glad that the labels don’t have so much control no more. [There are] so many internet sensations. People can just upload some stuff on Soundcloud and become a superstar. ”
Despite spending the last 30 months in jail, Gucci is still openminded about the music landscape and is ready to reclaim his spot at the forefront of it. While he was imprisoned there was a struggle between streaming services began while the internet began to teem with new, hot artist successfully promoting their music themselves. None this seems to not phase Gucci at all. Not only does Guwop seem optimistic about the current status of music but he is optimistic about becoming a leader in this changing space.
“I need to work with the new fresh producers because they’re in the club… I’m in the house… I been in jail. I just want to embrace everything. So many people fall off because they turn their nose up to what changes instead of letting them have their lane.”
One of the best things about this interview was learning about how much Gucci is willing to be a student to the times while still remaining himself. He has always has the uncanny ability to connect with the young rappers of his hometown and navigate the music world with an ease that we can only contribute to his free thinking about changes in the industry.
“During that time… I was just toxic. I was high as hell. Out my mind. And I don’t blame…I don’t use drugs as a scapegoat. It was me. I was just in a bad place and was so high.”
Satten asks Gucci about his very public media showdowns with everyone from former friend, Wake Flocka Flame, to XXL Magazine itself where Gucci lashed out on Twitter. He managed to burn ties with people who previously revered him ultimately resulting in many negative outcomes including being dropped from Atlantic records. Deeply apologetic and humbled, Gucci admits his problems with drugs (lean and marijuana) and faced up to the fact that he was in a terrible place that even his closest friends and family couldn’t pull him out of.
“Jail saved my life. It gave me time to dry out.”
Gucci Mane is candid about his dependence on drugs in his music but it soon took a toll on his life that he almost didn’t recover from. He admits that his time in jail awaiting his sentence allowed him to take control of his life again and begin planning for his release. This plan included a drug-free lifestyle where he injected positive thinking into all aspects of his life including diet and exercise schedule. Jail was necessary for him to take stock of all that he could lose if he didn’t reclaim control back of his life.
“I was grateful that everybody was keeping my name going. I think that helped me out more than anything. I felt like all the young artist are going to embrace because they [already] had a connection with me.”
The “Free Gucci” movement became a cultural phenomenon unlike anything we’ve ever seen with an out burst of support via social media for Gucci’s freedom. There were mixtapes named after him (21 Savage’s Free Guwop) and even events planned in his honor all to keep his name alive as his sentence wound down. There are few rappers excluding Lil Wayne, T.I. and Tupac that can say that their careers were not only maintained but soared after a prolonged prison stint. The way the hip-hop community corralled around his name and legacy speaks to his relevance and importance in the industry.
Gucci Mane has managed to turn his life around in a way that is admirable. I can’t even hide how happy I am that Gucci Mane is healthy in mind and body ready to act on all the tremendous potential that he has. Luckily, we have a lot to look forward to from the rapper including: his next album, Woptober, which is said to be releasing on October 17th, his fashion line, Delantic, and even his upcoming book to be published with Simon Schuster.
There are so many gems from this interview it’s a must-see. Gucci Mane is on a mission for redemption to retake his throne as Atlanta’s one true trapstar. Watch the interview below: