Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane was a prominent figure in the city’s hip-hop scene during the days of Crunk in the 2000s. Although the artist did not represent the subgenre, he most certainly had much respect and notoriety in his hometown.
Akin to Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane (real name Radric Davis) is one of many Southern rap artists who is considered to have helped usher in the “mumble rap” delivery we see in hip-hop today. Since his emergence on the scene in 2001, Gucci Mane has released over ten albums and 70 mixtapes and has been extremely important in helping cultivate the Atlanta underground hip-hop scene.
In 2007, Gucci Mane founded 1017 Records, which has launched the careers of some of the most prominent Southern rap artists. The label’s most successful artists include Young Thug, Waka Flocka Flame, Pooh Shiesty, and OJ da Juiceman. However, despite his massive musical contributions to hip-hop and work behind the scenes, Davis still feels he is underappreciated in the culture.
With so many legal cases and issues since his explosion in 2007, Davis has been far from consistent with his music, and his projects have been poorly curated on many occasions. In a 2017 interview with XXL, Gucci Mane stated, “To the public, I think my career has been a bunch of ups and downs, but I think it’s a resilient comeback story. I’m proud of the person I am now. I’m so proud of that. I went through all this stuff, and I’m still here. I feel like the most resilient person in the history of the world, not even just rap music!”
However, irrespective of his resilience, Davis still felt that his lyrical ability was getting underplayed and disregarded. Elaborating on his sentiments, the rhymer divulged, I don’t think I get enough recognition for being a lyricist. I feel like I’m one of the coldest, as far as putting songs together ’cause it was four or five years where I just freestyle.”
He then proceeded to name some songs he he recorded just freestyling, unveiling, “I was so high, I just freestyled all them songs, ‘Lemonade,’ ‘Photoshoot,’ ‘Wasted,’ I would make all these songs in one night, and I would make 30 tapes a year. I’ve never seen anybody do that but me.”
Although Mane’s lyrical ability and substance are most definitely up for debate, no hip-hop fan can deny that making 30 mixtapes in the span of a year is pretty incredible. You can listen to ‘Lemonade’ (a song Davis freestyled) in the video below.