Gucci Mane: King Of The Trap House
Never heard of him? Maybe you have or maybe you didnt know that you did.
With his most famous song, So Icy and his latest hit Freaky Gurls, the now Atlanta Trapster has made his way from being an independent artist to a major deal with Atlantic records and a album set for release on November 13, 2007.
The hood born kid with a history in writing poetry and short stories sat down with HipHopDX.com to talk about his current works, his rap beefs and how southern emcees might not be the best lyricist, but his destiny guarantees that he gains his respect.
If you dont know Gucci Mane, it wont take long for you to get to know.
HipHopDX: Whats good, are you excited?
Gucci Mane: Yeah, I am. I cant even lie.
DX: Let me know about why youre so excited.
GM: Im excited to get back in the studio. I got another album on the way and Ive worked so much on this album as well. I didnt know if they were going to put the CD out, this early or not. This album is going to come out before the end of the year and Im excited to be back in the game.
DX: The new album is called, Back to the Trap House, the first one was called, Trap House and then you had Hard to Kill. Why did you already make a return with this title?
GM: I called it Back to The Trap House, because on my first album I was so hungry, I was steady grinding and I was thirsty for the game. I feel like that now [just getting; out of jail or whatever]. I also have a distribution deal. Im so hungry to get back on the scene and to be doing my thing again. I feel like my career is [just] starting over.
DX: When you refer to The Trap for everybody who doesnt know, can you explain what the Trap is?
GM: For me, I feel like the Trap is different for different people. I look as a place where you can get money. Its the place where you do your job and the place where you make your money. For a teacher the Trap House is the classroom, for a judge its the courtroom. For the police, the Trap House is the streets. You know what I mean?
DX: Youve been pretty popular in the southern and in mid-western region of the United States. Why do you think its taken so long for you to cross over to the Eastern portion of the country?
GM: 'Cause this is what I do; my music is reporting live from my neighborhood. Anybody with a neighborhood like mine is going to be a huge fan of mine. Its like an awkward for somebody whos never been to the hood. My music is raw and uncut. Somebody from the hood gotta love it because its addictive and its great. Thats why I gotta fan-base in the mid-west and the south like that, because they can identify with it.
DX: Let people know how you got the name, Gucci Mane. I always wanted to know, why does this man call himself Gucci Mane. Where did you get that name?
GM: Thats a good question. My pops name was Gucci Mane. This was a family name and its always been in my family. I just took the name and made it my rap name, after my daddy.
DX: Why was your daddy named Gucci Mane? Did he wear a lot of Gucci?
GM: Nah. Being born in a small town in Alabama, my moms and my pops side are both from down there. Its real country down there and my grandmother gave my daddy a lil country name- she didnt know nothing about them clothes.
DX: [Laughs]. Youre pretty big on the mix-tape scene and you have a couple popular mixtapes. What do you think is the hardest part about being on the underground scene and making that transition into commercial success?
GM: I havent had commercial success yet, so I really dont know the formula. Im just going hard at it, putting my all into it and just being on time. Im telling everybody how excited I am, being honest and being passionate about what I do. I hope that will gain my commercial success. All I know is the business part of it.
DX: How many records did you push independently?
GM: I put out two albums. The first one did 40,000 and the second one did 70,000.
DX: Let us know about your childhood and some of the people you listened to and your influences in regards to Hip Hop.
GM: Growing up it was hard on the blockthere were cops and robbers and I was never a cop. I said that on the Hard to Kill album. Its a harsh statement but coming up, I was very smart guy but Ive always had my foot in the streets. I listened to a lot of N.W.A. and a lot of 2 Live Crew.
DX: Let me know about your record company in regards to Atlantic.
GM: I gotta new company called So Icy. I called it that because I felt like this was my breaking point into the game. I want everybody to remember me for that, as well as this album. We got one artist out right now that got a CD out and thats me. Im the CEO and the first artist as well. I have to wear two hats over here. We have deal with Asylum/Atlantic soits a good look for us. We got two or three Gucci Mane projects, and a La Chat project too.
DX: Why have you been dissing Jay-Z?
GM: Jay-Z is so big in the game, that Im just taking shots. Im taking shots at the man who on top. This is the game of Hip Hop. I didnt make the rules, I just play them.
DX: He said that too. So, if Bone Thugs N Harmony was at the top of the game right now, you would have threw shots at them too?
GM: Yeahif I was in the same situation I was in at the time, I would have thrown shots at them too or anybody. No disrespect to Bone Thugs N Harmony, because Im a huge fan of their music but if you hungry and you want something you have to go get it. You gotta do it.
DX: Let me know about some people who you think are dope in Georgia on the underground scene that you dont really think is getting a lot of love. Who should we be looking out for?
GM: I got two of them. Mantana Da Mac, hes from Atlanta and he has a song on the album called, Rock On and hes going to be very big. Also look out for Yung Ralph, he gotta song called, Look like Money and hes signed to Universal, so be looking out for him.
DX: Why do you think theyre hot?
GM: They tearing up the down there all over the radio, theyre getting booked for shows and they havent even put out albums. People should look out for them on the underground scenes.
DX: Word of mouth, as a kid you use to write a lot of short stories and poems. Let me into your life, what was your writing about as a child?
GM: I use to write poems about my mother as a little boy and everybody use to like them and it was publicized. I was in like first or second grade. I would write about Black History or whatever was going on. I was a young student.
DX: Okay, so as a child did you ever think you would be an emcee or rapper?
GM: Yeah. I knew I wanted to be a rapper since the fourth grade.
DX: So, at what moment did you say, Yo, I want to pursue a career as a rapper. What hit you in the fourth grade?
GM: Run-DMC, LL [Cool J], the big chains, the shell toesit was really the whole culture.
DX: That hit you in Georgia?
GM: Well, I was in Alabama but I had an older brother, who break-danced and I watched him do his thing. He was Hip Hop.
DX: Thats dope. What do you think is the biggest misconception about Gucci Mane or southern Rappers?
GM: I dont think theres a misconception about Gucci Mane in specific. As far as the south, a lot of people say that we dont have the lyrics. We might not have good lyricism, but we still got good music, like everybody else. I want people to stop saying that and just focus on the fact that were still making good music and still getting money.
DX: So, if you had to describe this album in three words, what words would you choose and why?
GM: Informative, hood and classic. Informative because youre not from the hood and youve never been to East Atlanta, Zone 6. You would feel like you knew my neighborhood by just listening to the album. I take you through every corner, every hood and every street name, all the girls, all the trap boys and youll see everything thats going on, on the block. Its like an almanac of whats going on, on the block. I said hood because Im the poster boy of the hood and I come from the gutter. I tell it how it is. Classic, because its my first major album and the production is serious and it sounds classic.
DX: Back to Jay-Z, if he responded are you going to respond back to him?
GM: Im really tryna push over that, because its so far behind. To be honest they reach out to me and they like me.