Deep dive: Gucci Mane

Posted bykbrecordzzNovember 6, 2020Posted in2010s, deep-dive, hip-hop, usa, western-music,

Schoochie! He’s not the most well-known rapper, and he hasn’t really created any critically acclaimed masterpieces, but he kind of created the whole trap genre. He may sound similar to many others in the genre today, but in the early 00s he was quite unique. Not even “Trap Musik” by T.I., known for being the album popularizing trap, sounds as futuristic as Gucci Mane’s “Str8 Drop Presents Gucci Mane La Flare” from 2001, which I dare to say is a genre-defining album that Gucci Mane deserves loads of respect for. I’ve made an attempt at going through his whole discography, which in the beginning sounds like some kind of mix between 3-6 Mafia and crunk, and later evolvs into the dark and cheap sounding bass-heavy rap music everbody wanna imitate today.

Back in the days, Gucci Mane was kinda bad. He killed a man in self-defense, went to prison two times, and “claimed to have sexual relations with rappers’ girlfriends” (according to Wikipedia) on Twitter. After his second prison stay he decided to start taking responsibility for his actions, and became #blessed. Fans think the “old” Gucci Mane (the one you see in his 2012 movie “The Spot”) was “real” in his behaviour, and don’t recognize the new sweet Gucci, and some of them even say he is a clone. Who knows?

Since 2019 he regularly posts “Guccisms” on his Twitter page, which stand in stark contrast to his stereotypical rap themes from back in the day. Now Gucci Mane is all about positivity. He has released a self-help book, in which he talks about how he works out all the time, the importance of a good marriage, and his way to success. They’re all words everyone can say, but when they come from Guwop I listen. I’m not Gucci Mane, so I can’t follow his exact recipe for success, but I love that he’s doing this for me.

Everything becomes catchy in Gucci Mane’s mouth, and the more silly the better (“Are you rollin? Bitch, I might be”“I think them bitches love that I’m a bottle popper”“Rich ass nigga with a mouth full of gold” + BirdmanOff the Leaiiiiish“I’m Cool”“Sex in Crazy Places”rooster with reverb). The album covers match up to this silliness, often looking charmingly dated and over-the-top advertise:y. One time he advertised an upcoming album on the cover of another album.

Yes, I planned to listen to all of his albums. But it’s an insane amount. He releases music all the time. Once he made a mixtape + photoshoot in one day. He recorded and released a song the exact day he came out of prison. A lack of perfectionism and a big number of collaborators lets him maximize his productivity, and in some way he managed to continue releasing music in the same pace while being in prison. Gucci Mane puts quantity before quality, resulting in a big number of great songs, which makes me doubt the legitimacy of the whole “quantity or quality” discussion – because Gucci Mane’s got both. The quality might be hidden in the quantity, so if you wanna find it all, prepare for an adventure!