Gucci Mane: An Introduction

My head hurts from all this jail
My head hurts from all this jail

Gucci Mane: love him or never heard of him? If you are white, tis likely you’ve never heard of him. Gucci Mane (oft pronounced Gucci Man) is, of course, really hot on “the streets,” which means that Power 92 plays him a lot. That blog about stuff white people like once pointed out that white people enjoy black music that black people no longer care about. Anyway, Gucci is cared about now, so this is the chance to catch up on everything you (you, if you’re a white person) have missed while listening to 90s Wu Tang on repeat.

Gucci’s sure got an ugly mug, and sometimes he acts even uglier, but his laid back, husky and somewhat blubbery flow has its fans… one of them is even me. At his best, Gucci exhibits a breezy, self possessed confidence. Unlike his former ATL associate/current big beef Young Jeezy, he doesn’t sound like he’s hoarsely coughing nonsense at you. (Remember that crucial moment in history, right before Obama was elected? Jeezy had this to say about it: MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK/MY LAMBO’S BLUE/I’LL BE GOD DAMNED IF MY RIMS AIN’T TOO.) Gucci seems like a good-natured fellow, and his raps sound as natural as if he were merely breathing them. He’s lyrical, clever, and, according to imeem’s bio on him, liked writing poetry when he was little. It shows.

Let’s be real though. Gucci Mane is thug life 2009. There are youtube videos of him punching a woman, he also shot someone in Jeezy’s coterie a couple years ago, and he’s in jail again. Not that being thug life makes you punch women. Tupac would never do that.

Anyway, it’s taken me some time to understand what Gucci’s discography looks like. He is truly a rapper 3.0, because most of his impressively prolific oeuvre consists of many mixtapes. However, he’s still got some studio albums called Trap House and also Back to the Trap House. In two weeks, The State vs. Radric Davis drops. (Gucci’s given name is Radric Davis.) Sensing a theme here?

Do you want to understand the charms of Gucci Mane? No, you don’t want to listen to someone who beats women? Well, let’s hope that jail rehabilitates him a little this time.

Please enjoy my top 3 2009 Gucci traxxx:

Pretty Girls

Instead of peddling pap to larger audiences with Lady Gaga on “Chillin,'” Wale should have led his debut album Attention Deficit with this summer-appropriate jam about girls, featuring Gucci. Gaga’s poor imitation of M.I.A. really ruined it for Wale on that first single. “Pretty Girls” features some lively street percussion (think hand claps and plastic buckets) paired with a gospel-esque organ. Gucci rhymes about riding girls like a Huffy, and seeing similarities between diamonds and slushies. The whole thing makes for a tune I’d like to blare out of my convertible on a hot day.

Spotlight

This is Gucci’s nicest single from his forthcoming studio album. There was the very crunk “Wasted,” with Plies (who the fuck is that?), which sounds as though everyone was wasted while recording it. And now we have a modest, unpretentious Usher club song that provides the basic bump and grind it aimed to. Most amusing moment: Usher asks, “How you doin Gucci?” at beginning of the song, and Gucci responds by saying, “Yeaaaah…” as though he is slowly, reluctantly rising from his lazyboy when someone calls him from the kitchen. Second most amusing moment: the line that starts with “Gucci on Elimidate.”

Shine Blockas

Gucci will never make art like a member of Outkast, but he can keep up with Big Boi’s bounce in this optimistic ditty about maintaining one’s shine, regardless of circumstances. As always, Gucci’s presence is introduced by a series of excited self proclamations: “Gucci!” Wait a couple measures… then: “Gucci!” I guess I’d be that excited about myself if I was Gucci Mane too.

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