BURR! It’s Gucci Time! But we’re going beyond the bricks and hits with this one. JuGatti and I made October “#Woptober” by reading “The Autobiography of Gucci Mane” this month. Gucci has made a significant imprint in the music industry and on JuGatti and myself, from his trap tales in his music, to introducing us to the new kids on the block from the south and so much more. We were eager to get our hands on his autobiography and dig deeper in this published diary of a trap God. In honor of 1017 Day, get into 10 questions me and JuGatti answered about the book below.
1. In your own words describe Gucci’s lasting impact on hip hop.
Manito: Where do I start? His influence on trap music number one and the mixtape game. He made it his mission to flood the streets with music. I think Gucci’s mixtape rollout is what shapes how we consume music today. Gucci’s controversy impacted hip-hop too, like his legal drama and public beefs. His lavish chains and ice cream cone tattoo put him on the map and no one will ever forget that. Wop also introduced me to new talent with his mixtapes. If it wasn’t for Gucci I wouldn’t have heard Young Thug, Future, Rich Homie Quan, Young Dolph, 2 Chainz and countless other artists for the first time. And now that Gucci has come to terms with his lean addiction and is living his best life without it, that’s a crazy impact on hip-hop right now. Lean goes hand in hand with hip-hop culture coming out of the south and has unfortunately been the demise of legends like Pimp C. Lean is what was ruining Gucci with paranoia, violent outbursts, and all types of foul shit. Now that’s he’s kicked that bad habit, maybe others can learn from his story too.
JuGatti: Aside from his contributions to the genre with the mixtapes and such, I believe his lasting impact falls upon his willingness to work with any artist. Gucci is known to hop on a new rappers track with no hesitation and I believe that should be praised more. Especially in the age where there always seems to be a feud with the new generation vs. old generation. So Gucci’s versatility and ability to keep up with the times is significant in his longevity and will ultimately be a determining factor with the overall impact Gucci will have.
2. Gucci is known to release music almost instantaneously. Do you think this is a good marketing scheme or is it more counterproductive in the grand scheme of things?
Manito: I’ve seen it work because we live in a microwave society. With the internet and everything being so accessible through phones and technology, we want things NOW, right away. Fans are almost demanding music comes out right away, especially with streaming being so popular right now. It feeds that demand but I don’t think people can really absorb music that way. People’s tastes are so fickle they can feed into the hype of one thing and move on to the next just like that. I’m old school I guess, I have no problem waiting for new music if I know that artist is going to deliver quality.
JuGatti: It’s a great marketing scheme, and it definitely helped while he was going through his legal struggles early in his career by keeping his name alive. For a die hard Gucci fan I know it’s heaven because it sees like he drops something new every Wednesday. For a nigga like me personally I can’t keep up, but every project that I do have a chance to come across it’s guaranteed 2-3 bangers on there.
3. List your top 5 Gucci mixtapes in order.
Manito: I’m going to get killed because no one agrees with my number one.
- Trap Back
- Burrrprint 3D
- No Pad, No Pencil
- The Movie
- I’m Up
JuGatti: My order:
- Writing on the Wall
- Burrprint 3D
- The Movie pt 2
- Return of Mr Zone 6
..damn this shit was harder than I thought.
4. There’s always been speculation and much debate as to whom the originator of trap music is. Do you consider Gucci as the originator? Why or why not?
Manito: I can’t say he’s THE originator of it but I can say he definitely amplified it and took it to another level in that genre. He was consistent with the stove talk and rhymes that told the stories of the trap booming. Shit, Gucci taught me so much about the drug game in his music I entertained the idea of being a black Griselda Blanco at one point.
JuGatti: The origins of trap music will be debated for years on end, even in our retirement homes we’ll be arguing about it. But my take on it is that TI coined the phrase, but the album Trap Muzik was highly overlooked except maybe if you live in the south. East coast? Nah we wasn’t really checking for it. Jeezy commercially brought trap music to the forefront because of the success of his TM releases. And Gucci honed the subgenre by his tireless work ethic and consistent releases. I also think Gucci’s contribution is more so for the newer sound of trap music that’s out, the upbeat but still talking trap shit even if niggas don’t notice it but notice it. Like Hannah Montana for example, white people, older people etc may not realize what the song is really about but are singing along to it. Yeah that’s the essence of Trap Music that Gucci is The Godfather of.
5. Who is your favorite Gucci Mane offspring or protege and why?
Manito: If you asked me before reading I would say Future for me but after reading this book, I learned that Future surprisingly had a lot of influence on Gucci. He loved his work ethic and the fact he was a studio rat. Plus Future was more Rocko and Rico Wade’s protege than Gucci’s even though Gucci gave him another platform with their Free Bricks collab. Now I say Young Thug, he’s my favorite talent that came up out of 1017 today.
JuGatti: Hmm this is tough because really you can consider anyone after Gucci from the south his protege since he shows so much love to everyone. It’s a deadlock tie between Migos and Future. Seeing Migos success this year was so dope to witness. It was mad funny in the book when Gucci said they came up the studio with fake jewelry so he blessed them. And when they left they threw their fake jewels in the trash lmao. And future because he has the work ethic of Gucci. When it’s been two weeks and there’s no Future dropping I automatically think something is wrong. And his come up has been admirable as well.
6. If you could play one song for someone who has no idea of who Gucci is to make them a fan what song would you choose?
Manito: I’d pick “Wasted.” It’s definitely not my personal favorite song, for the obvious reason that I don’t get wasted, but it’s a song that catapulted his success and united every type of music fan.
JuGatti: FIRST DAY OUT!! That’s a real niggas national anthem for real. That song and the whole WOTW mixtape is what made me a fan of Gucci because I couldn’t stand that niggas music at first. But everyone in high school loved him so I said, “Why not give him a try?” and that song is what had me like, “Ok this guy might be legit.” It’s also dope he pinpointed this song in his book.
7. What did you learn new about Gucci from this book?
Manito: It was one thing to hear about his trapping days in his raps but to actually read about it in detail was like I as hearing for the first time. I enjoyed reading his upbringing, it’s always cool to learn about someone’s history. I learned that Future was someone influential in his career, and I’m a big big fan, well I’m a borderline groupie. Finding out MORE in depth details on the Gucci/Jeezy feud was exciting for me too. I got the chance to read more behind someone of his legal drama too, from a first account. I also learned back in his day, Gucci dealt with some grimy niggas and he did a lot of dirt himself. He did his friends and business partners wrong, in the streets and in music. Reading about it affirmed by belief that the rap game/crack game is all just as dirty. There so much in this book, this isn’t even the half
JuGatti: I heard about it a lot from his songs or interviews but the part where he got put in the hole for beating the guy up was wild. On the song Frowney Face (one of my favs) he was like “someone bloodied my face badly my last visit to the slammer but they put me in the hole because I beat em like a hammer..” Yeah that was all facts. Almost killed that man from his account. Man this off topic but solitary confinement is wild inhumane. A person shouldn’t have to go through some sick shit like that. I’m getting off topic kinda but not really. So yeah that was a wild story.
8. One focus of the book is the Gucci v Jeezy feud. Whom do you believe was at fault the most in that situation?
Manito: I might seem a little biased considering I just read “The Auotbiography of Gucci Mane” and not Jeezy’s, but based on what I read Jeezy seemed to be more at fault. As soon as Gucci declined a deal from Def Jam for him and Jeezy’s track “So Icy” things went south. Jeezy was the one who turned a business situation personal and had his reservations about Guwop ever since. Then both of their constitutions got involved and made matters worse. Jeezy was in the streets stirring up a bad reputation for Gucci and had been blackballing him ever since. Real men don’t handle themselves that way. If you have a problem, you address the man you have a problem with, end of story. Jeezy ended up putting a price on his head and set him up with the situation that involved Gucci’s murder charge. Thank God it’s over because this whole situation was messy.
JuGatti: There’s always two sides to a story but I feel this whole beef was a big misunderstanding really. If anything the true culprit is the politics of the business because Jeezy wanted the Icy song and with release dates and albums, promotions, independent labels vs large labels it all got misconstrued and blown out of proportion. Then Gucci going to jail while all the miscommunication was happening didn’t make anything better. So if anything the blame should be placed on the nature of the business more so.
9. Who do you think has had the most successful career to date between the two?
Manito: Jeezy had more commercial success but I gravitate towards Gucci’s music more because I’m more of a fan. Although Jeezy, might’ve seen more success with rap, I see Gucci has had a crazy influence as a public figure outside of things that are music related and album sales. He’s an icon. When he last came out of jail publications that are household names outside of hip-hop/music like The New York Times were itching to interview or do a story about him, and look at him now, he’s getting married on live TV as a docuseries on BET. Out of jail, being a sober man and still staying consistent and relevant, Gucci is WORKING. It depends on how you measure success, but if we’re talking cultural impact and personal progression, I got to give it to Gucci.
JuGatti: I would go Jeezy. The Def Jam signing, as well as the relationships he had helped him blossom into the Trapstar he is today. Not taking anything away from him cause he’s dope regardless but his path was a little easier for worldwide recognition than Gucci’s. Add the hindrance of the legal trouble and being locked up every other hour, Gucci had a realllll slow start out of the gate with his career. Though recently I feel as though Gucci is gaining on Jeezy. Both the guys have great careers respectively.
10. Scenario: it is the late 90’s and Gucci is blowing up, there is a bidding war for him to join a powerhouse record label. His 3 options are Rap A Lot Records, No Limit, and Cash Money. Which one is he signing to and why?
Manito: Gucci idolized Master P, he truly admired his mogul mentality with building the No Limit empire from selling mixtapes out his trunk to making people say “UNNHHH” everywhere. But they’re so similar in ways it might’ve not lasted. Gucci wanted to be his OWN boss from the beginning, and started his own empire with 1017 BrickSquad. He has his own army under him so I’m not sure he would’ve wanted to be under someone else’s wing. “I pay a nigga to drive for me, Jay-Z couldn’t even co-sign for me, I do what I want cause I’m signed to me.”
JuGatti: At first I was leaning towards Cash Money, but I believe that Gucci would’ve been a great No Limit soldier. Especially at the rate he drops music which is definitely in line with the business plan that Master P established. I also feel he would’ve been the outright torch bearer after No Limit started dwindling off. Everyone wants to be the man on some Kyrie shit so he would’ve fared better with them as Cash Money had endless niggas waiting to be next up. And from the book and all things considered Gucci probably would’ve set Baby up at the Texaco for playing with his money like he did to some of his other artist.
Happy 1017 Day! Get better acquainted with Gucci Mane in this So Icy read that’ll have you yelling out BURR for no reason. You should get better acquainted with JuWop, he’s cooking up some dope of his own.