XXLMag.com: Did you ever think this is how you would be doing press for your first major-label release, from prison?

Gucci Mane: My status right now, with my album out, is that I’m very grateful, very thankful. I had been out of jail for eight months, and in that time, I’ve gotten to work with a lot of artists I’ve always wanted to work with. I put my record label together; my new situation with Warner went well. I built a lot of anticipation, I worked hard in those eight months, and I’m pleased with the recognition I’m getting. I’m at the height of my career so far. It’s a blessing just to have people who would want to buy your stuff and to be anticipated. But in the little time I got here, I really can handle it. It’s just a small,
little stepping-stone of where I’ve got to go.

After your most-recent arrest, your lawyer said that you had tested positive for cocaine and marijuana. But when I visited you, you said you have had clean tests for months and those charges were old.

My urinalysis was from, like, six months ago. I think it was for marijuana. But it definitely wasn’t from cocaine. I have never used cocaine. That’s just not true. Then I stopped smoking and stopped drinking. For the last six months, I haven’t used any drugs, and I will continue to claim sobriety. That’s why
I said that at the BET Awards and made that PSA. Because that’s something I took to and made a part of my life. So even when I do get out of here, I plan on continuing that, and I’m proud of myself for that. That gave me peace, even in the situation I’m in now. I know you have to be optimistic. Even if you’re going through something that you expect to be good and it turns out bad, you know it will get well.

What do you think it was, during those eight months, that built up the anticipation for this album?

I think, over the years, when I first started my career, a lot of situations that I was in made people kind of shy away from me. It kind of made people have a curiosity about me but a slight fear to work with me. So as people have gotten to know me and spread word around the industry that I was a stand-up guy…that
I was a great businessman and I always hold my word in every business transaction I do—that made people open to wanna work with me. And once they got in the studio with me or we handled some business together, that went well. But compared to what they were hearing, because people were kind of blackballing me. So it took years and years just for that to die down. But once people opened the door for me to work with them, it just took off from there. I did have the talent. And that whole time, while they were scared to mess with me or work with me, I’ve been getting better. So I guess things just happen... Can’t never question how things happen. Even though it was hard to struggle all the time, doing it on my own independently, once I did break through that door, I just came straight through there.

Why do you think they were scared of you? Why were you blackballed? What gave you that impression?

Why? Just my history. Nothing that specifically I want to go into. Just the history of me.