Radric Delantic Davis (born February 12, 1980), better known as Gucci Mane is an American rapper originally from Bessemer, Alabama but most known for his association with the trap scene in Atlanta, Georgia. He is known for being one of the main innovators of Trap Music.
Gucci got his start in 2001 after his first arrest, releasing the album La Flare on Str 8 Drop Records although the record was not widely released. He would go on to drop the songs "Black Tee" (a response to Dem Franchise Boyz's "White Tee") and "Icy" with Young Jeezy, which would lead to trouble between the two down the road. That road would start with Gucci's debut album Trap House. As the lead single for Trap House was "Icy", problems arose over the rights to the song which would culminate in the two releasing some of the most scathing diss tracks in hip hop history, including a track where Jeezy put out a bounty on Gucci Mane's So Icy chain for $10,000.
Gucci's most infamous moment ended up being related to Jeezy's $10,000 line as Gucci was charged for murder in 2005 when a group of men, believed to be associated with Young Jeezy, attempted to set up Gucci with a woman to make it easy to rob him during the liaison. Gucci and his crew ended up shooting back at the assailants, killing one. He was subsequently arrested and charged for murder until the charges were dropped citing insufficient evidence.
This event, along with a relentless work ethic, would help Gucci earn a degree of notoriety not just in the Southern rap scene, but in hip-hop in general. He would sign to Warner Brothers Records in 2009 appearing on a ton of remixes and releasing his own hit singles that would assist in him crossing over such as "Lemonade" and "Wasted". Around this time was when his mixtape output began to increase and it would prove to be just a taste of what was to come in the 2010's as his musical output only increased from there. He would go on to mentor upcoming Atlanta rap talent/future rap superstars like Migos, Peewee Longway, Future and Young Thug among others as he was one of the first major artists in the city to give them a shot on a mainstream level.
Unfortunately, years of reckless living and mental health issues would catch up to Gucci in 2013. The legal problems culminated with a now-infamous Twitter rant while high on promethazine and codeine in which he accused his management of stealing from him and his 1017 Brick Squad label along with disses and slander aimed at rappers Nicki Minaj, Drake and 2 Chainz among others. The big blow was when he dissed management at his distribution label, Atlantic Records claiming they were stealing from Brick Squad. Needless to say, Atlantic was not pleased and released Gucci and his label from Atlantic following the rant and subsequent arrest thanks to a friend calling the police out of concern for his well-being.
On May 13, 2014, Gucci Mane pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and agreed to a plea deal to help reduce his sentence to late 2016. On May 26, 2016 he was released from prison and on the 27th he released a new single under his new deal with Atlantic Records entitled, "First Day Out the Feds" with studio albums such as Everybody Looking, Mr. Davis and Drop Top Wop following in the months after. This, along with a rehabilitated image and a lore surrounding his past exploits and music being embraced by the new generation of hip-hop stars helped push Gucci into the mainstream leading to him being featured on Rae Sremmurd's #1 Billboard hit single "Black Beatles". He would go on to get married to his longtime girlfriend, Keyshia Ka'Oir, in 2017 and also released his autobiography in the same year.
Gucci Mane provides examples of:
- Album Title Drop: One doesn't need to look far for this as his first official studio album Trap House's first song after the intro is titled...Trap House.
- Arch-Enemy: Jeezy, full stop.
- Auto-Tune: When Gucci sings, expect to hear this.
- Boastful Rap: The majority of Gucci's lyrical content.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
- Cluster F-Bomb
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: Played straight.
- Darker and Edgier: 2011-2013 proved to be this for Gucci's music and personal life. As his personal life seemed to be careening out of control with questionable life decisions such as tattooing an ice cream cone on his face, increasing his marijuana and lean consumption or getting into constant legal trouble outside of drugs, his music took a noticeably darker turn.
- The mixtape released around the time of his arrest in 2013, Diary of a Trap God was originally slated to be a studio album released and distributed by Atlantic (hence the plethora of big-time features). After the Twitter rant however, it was leaked by Gucci himself as a mixtape and features some of the darkest and oddly, most personal music in his discography with themes of isolation, paranoia and betrayal at the forefront. There's even an uncredited cameo from Marilyn Manson of all people on there to get an idea how dark and creepy this tape can get. Thankfully, in 2016 he sobered up and turned his life around.
- Deep South: Gucci Mane was born in Bessemer, Alabama and moved to Atlanta, Georgia at the age of nine. This slight change from a backwater, country town in Alabama to the busy city of Atlanta can be heard in his drawl which has considerably more rural elements than the average ATL native.
- Dream Team: With producer Zaytoven. with Waka Flocka Flame for a while but due to a controversial Twitter rant and a stint in jail, this team has yet to pair with each other since then.
- Gangsta Rap: Especially before his incarceration from 2013-2016.
- I Have Many Names: Trap God, Guwop, Big Guwop, Wop, Wizzop, Gucci Mane La Flare, Mr. Zone 6, East Atlanta Santa
- Intercourse with You: A popular theme for Gucci.
- Lighter and Softer: After being released from prison for the last time in 2016.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Particularly in the beginning of his career when the majority of his production was handled by Zaytoven and occasionally Shawty Redd and Nitti. Trap Music had not found it's footing at the beginning of Gucci's career in the early 2000's and the "trap" sound was still blended in with elements of crunk's simple yet brutal style and snap music's goofiness. The lyrical content has remained the same however - guns, drugs, women and violence - which can make listening to early Gucci somewhat disorienting for an unprepared listener.
- Lyrical Tic: "BURR", also starting off or ending verses with "It's Gucci!"
- Murder Ballad: Many of his older material are this.
- N-Word Privileges: Very frequent on his work.
- Scary Black Man: Prior from being released from his 2014 incarceration.
- Self-Backing Vocalist
- Trap Music: The Trope Codifier.
- A Wild Rapper Appears!!: whenever he's featured on a pop song.