I looked around my studio. The Brick Factory. It seemed like just yesterday this had been the spot. Everybody would be over here. At all hours of the day for days on end. But now the Brick Factory looked more like an armory than a place where music was made. I’d seen the looks on people’s faces when they came through. My studio was no longer a fun place to be. Onetime regulars started dropping like flies until I was the only one left. Alone.
The calm before the storm that would almost end Gucci Mane’s life and career. In his riveting memoir, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, the man also known as the Trap God describes what it was like to go from innocent kid to drug dealer to well-known rapper before it all came tumbling down.
I have a confession to make. I was not a Gucci Mane fan. Yes, I knew who he was, had heard some of his music and seen a few videos. But he was not someone I followed with any real fervor and there was something about him that creeped me out. But that was because Gucci (born Radric Davis), was a man in severe pain. Moved to a war zone in Atlanta after being in the close-knit and small community of Bessemer, Alabama, Gucci grew up fast, becoming a big-time drug dealer before stepping into the rap game. But I was surprised to learn that becoming a rapper was not his first choice. Instead, he wanted to be a producer where the money and real decisions were made.
Reading Gucci’s story was not only eye-opening, it made me realize that I had judged him by what I saw without really knowing who he was as a person. Had I not read his book, I never would have known that he learned how to read before he started kindergarten and was a good student all through school. The he adored his grandfather. That his addiction to “lean” (a prescription cough syrup and soda concoction) is the reason why he was overweight, paranoid and damn near crazy. And that he has a knack for finding new, raw talent like Waka Flocka Flame, Migos and Young Thug.
I became a fan of the Trap God when he was released from prison for one simple reason: Gucci Mane was always smiling. Gone was the angry, pained and overweight face of the past. In every photo I saw of him, Gucci had a big smile on his face. He was slimmer, better dressed and dare I say it, happy. He was engaged to Keyshia Ka’oir, a cosmetics entrepreneur whom he had met a few years before his last stint in prison and he was making music again. I started following him on social media and silently cheered for him as he went on tour, married Keyshia, released his latest album (which is great, btw) and memoir. I watched as Gucci Mane continued to change and grow and build the life and career he always wanted, and I will continue to watch him shine.
I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane from your local bookstore or library. I couldn’t put it down and I don’t think you will either.