Gucci Mane, Soul on Ice [Jailhouse Interview]


Backstory has become such an important part of rap artists’ appeal. Fans are very familiar with the life stories of people like Eminem, 50 Cent and Jay-Z. Do you think your story is well-known? Do you want it to be?

I don’t think my story is as known as those artists’. But I feel like, in a way, people know me better than they know these people that you named. Because a lot of my fans, they feel like they know me. They feel like they can hang with me. I’m more touchable than a lot of those artists. I’m, like, an around-the-way boy—a dude that you can relate to. And a lot of those guys, they can’t relate to them. Even though they know their stories in and out, they can’t relate to them. And with me being from the streets—honestly, with the life I’ve lived, some things I can’t even share—and they respect that. But for some of the people who are just now learning about me, there is kind of a mystique to me, a curiosity that I think attracts them to me, to want to get to know me. And I give them bits and pieces of it. When it comes to me and God puts it on my heart to share something with somebody, I do it, but that’s not something that I feel compelled to do. I don’t think that’s a requirement of being an artist—to air out everything in your closet of everything that you done went through. I don’t feel you have to do that. That’s all if you want to. If you feel you can help someone by doing that, that’s a good reason to do it. But to do it to show that I’m harder than this other artist or that I’m more real, I don’t feel I have to do that, because I know where
I stand in my community.

There have been long-standing problems between you and Young Jeezy. The public perception is that it all stems from the dispute over the “Icy” song. And then from the shooting incident, in May of 2005, because the man who was killed, Henry Lee Clark III, was said to be an associate of Jeezy’s. Some have speculated that Jeezy’s recent problems with DJ Drama are because Drama collaborated on mixtapes with you. What are your thoughts on the situation with Jeezy?

[EDIT NOTE: This interview was conducted prior to Gucci and Jeezy squashing their beef over Atlanta airwaves last December.]

That situation with me and homie, that just happened. I definitely didn’t expect that it would work out like that when we first got in the studio and made those records, and I don’t think he did, either. So it’s either like we can keep that going on forever or we can agree to disagree, and push on. With me, I’ve already pushed on. And a lot of people on my team, they follow the leader, what I got going on. So if I don’t speak on it, they’re not going to speak on it. And can’t nobody push my buttons to make me do anything. So regardless of whether anybody disses me or doesn’t like me, that doesn’t make me dislike them. Instead, they don’t like me.

Me and him are in two different places right now. There was a time where, honestly, I was angry, and I was upset, and I dissed him a lot. But now I don’t feel like that. I dissed him and a lot of other people. But right now I’m not even there no more. I’m so focused on trying to keep my record label tight and keep my family tight, keep everything going on the up and allow God to keep blessing me. So I don’t like to get into a lot of negative things. And that’s just negative. Even though it may sell a trillion records, it’s just not the lane that I want to go. I want to show people that Gucci is a talented songwriter, that he’s a hell of a performer, and that he’s a stand-up guy, and he made something out of literally nothing. And I feel like that’s a story that can help a lot of people. A lot of Black brothers need to hear that. A lot of all [different] colored brothers need to hear that—and sisters—that you can do it. So that’s the song that I like to sing. It’s so easy to be angry and negative, and it’s hard to say that you was hurt. And people don’t do that. So I’d like to be the first person to say I’ll do it, and maybe people will follow my lead.

Even though the murder charges against you were dropped, your lawyer spoke about the difficulty you’re having with your role in Henry Lee Clark’s death.

I never glorified that situation, you know what I’m saying? I rarely ever rap about it, if I ever rap about it. But, at the same time, you know, it always will bother me that someone had lost their life. You know, even if I don’t say anything about it or speak about it, it always bothers me and will bother me until I die. That was a situation I didn’t want to be put in, and it was also a situation I wouldn’t wish on nobody to be in. But some things happen for a reason. And the past, I can’t go back and… I can’t edit the past. I can only try to use that situation to help me help someone else, so they don’t be in that situation, ’cause who wants to be locked up? And for a murder charge, and probably face the death penalty for a charge, ’cause that could go either which way. The law said I was right, but I still hold that with me. And I still have to take that to the grave with me. Some people are gonna see that and think that’s tough-guy shit. But the tough guy is the person to say, Shit, man, I wouldn’t wish that on you. Don’t go down that road, lil’ shawty. Try to stay in school. Try and make something out yourself. You can be a rapper. You can be a producer. Kids, you can be an executive. You can be whatever. You can own XXL magazine. Do something positive with your life. Raise your family, be a good brother, be a good father, be a good son to your mother. That’s tough-guy shit to me. —Vanessa Satten

For the rest of this in-depth interview, be sure to pick up the March 2010 issue of XXL with Gucci Mane on the cover now, and stay locked to XXLMag.com for more exclusive content from the pages of the magazine.

  • giantstepp

    Interesting. Gucci actually comes across as having some sense. IDK, maybe it’s jail talking, but I’ll take him on his word. He needs to show more of this side of him.

    • Lady Gucci

      i dont kno bout yall folks but gucci the #1 rapper of all times. not na motha fucka can out rap gucci not even lil wayne. gucci got his own style he aint worried bout dem lames out dere he doin him even behind bars.i love gucci mane to dha fullest. FREE GUCCI MANE!!!!

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Chiliz

    I was doing lyrics “search” about 3 days ago as i had always felt like i can out-rap most of these so-called “emcess”.

    So i typed Gucci’s (Spotlight) song lyric search…………hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!

  • http://www.mauricegarland.com Maurice Garland

    Gucci Mane is important

  • DADE COUNTY 305

    giantstepp… Gucci is a pretty smart brotha. Im not sure if you knew he had a academic scholarship to GA State. Dont let his southern accent fool you… Thats some real grown man shit Gucci talkin about!!!!

    • giantstepp

      It’s not the southern accent that had me thinking negative about Gucci, it’s the content in his music. But I can see from this interview that there is more to the brother than his lyrical content. Both of my parents are from the south, Pops hails from the great state of GA, and Mamma is from NC. I got love for southern accents! lol

      Good looking out on the info about college because I had no idea.

  • Dominikingz

    I thought the whole point of having a college degree is to sound smarter not dumber. The man who had to read alot of books to be accepted into college pens a song called ” Lemonade”?

    • Anonymous

      You sound Like a Hater To Me……

  • SHORTY G

    That’s real talk! As u get older, u get wiser. That’s grown man shit.

  • http://XXL.COM JUICEMAN

    MY NIGGA GUCCI!!! GROWN MAN ISH!!!

  • Gift

    gucci gets alot more respect from me after reading this article. He is a very smart brother, and should let this shine through more on his music. Way to get ur game up GUCCI.

  • http://www.bboycult.com The $ykotic Don Mac

    “But the tough guy is the person to say, Shit, man, I wouldn’t wish that on you. Don’t go down that road, lil’ shawty. Try to stay in school. Try and make something out yourself. You can be a rapper. You can be a producer. Kids, you can be an executive. You can be whatever. You can own XXL magazine. Do something positive with your life. Raise your family, be a good brother, be a good father, be a good son to your mother. That’s tough-guy shit to me.”

    ^^^ Rap about that fam. Real talk right there…

  • mav

    when this nigga go to college? lol this the same nigga who said cant spell real good cant read real good…so how did he get into college? and why would he wanna pretend to be dumb?

  • Mutada/Mullah Atari

    First XXL i bought in years and I git it for the Scott Stortch interview, low and behold I was extremely pleased with the Gucci interview. Why people are impressed that gucci is not some “ignorant coon” as Mex would call him and his ilk, never surprised me. I been telling people on this site not to judge people by thier music. This us the best interview XXL has done in YEARS.

  • ALMIGHTYCVL

    Lets get real people. Rap is entertainment for us but for the person making it it’s a lively hood to feed themselves,their family and friends. So with that being said we all know conscious rappers don’t sell worth shit. So is it his fault for giving people what they want????

    • http://www.bboycult.com The $ykotic Don Mac

      We are being real. A dude like Talib won’t sell a million records, but his longevity in the game means he will at least touch some good money to feed him and his. Same with a Mos Def, a Tech N9ne, Immortal Technique, and other “conscious”, “backpack rappers”. Aren’t they giving the people what they want as well? There are 2 sides to that story, because now you have to ask which people are you talking about satisfying, this rap thing is worldwide.

      Man doesn’t have to always conform to the status quo just to get paid, and there are a whole lot of rappers who are abiding by the status quo who aren’t getting paid.

      • AlmightyCVL

        Point taken $ykotic

        At the same time there’s smart bangers, dealers and killers who are not conscious but use their brain power to control the weak minded. So wouldn’t he be just as fake if he talked about peace and unity but wasn’t about it. I’m from Indianapolis and people down here been bumpin gucci, yo gotti, lil boosie…..for yrs so these type of rappers can have a long career also, but I get what you’re saying. My brother is a 5% so Im not wet behind the ears. I grew up on Poor RT, Cube, Brand Nubians,PE, Paris, Ghetto Boys, so on and so on. One of my favorites is C’bo he talk that shit but he sprinkles some hood knowledge in it too

    • cuervo

      Almighty cvl best shit i heard from any one if you know tupacs history he did the same thing dumb the music sell records

  • LA Pharaoh

    Gucci doesn’t have to be a conscious rapper.
    People who like Gucci, like his music. If his music was about uplifting youngsters he would lose his base and not gain Talib’s base.
    Fat Joe has longetivity as does Jay-Z and Snoop, so let Gucci be Gucci and understand that people have different sides to them

  • http://www.bboycult.com The $ykotic Don Mac

    @ CVL

    C-Bo is a damn good exapmle fam (Til My Casket Drops my fave)…many of y’all can see I’ma builder, but I play my MOP on the reg…and even they sprinkle a lil’ knowledge here and there throughout the bang ‘em up/shoot ‘em up music. Extend a 10,11,12 jewels greeting to your physical.

    @ LA

    I never said or stated Guch had to be conscious for longevity. But that further above quote that I took from the interview, Guch couldn’t make that a verse, throw his style to that, and his fans wouldn’t like it? Even relate to it more than the jewelry and $ sh*t? That I find a little hard to believe.

    And I am not foolish or naive, I know some people don’t want to hear knowledge at all, but those names you dropped have sprinkled knowledge in their careers without being “conscious”.

  • Keaton

    Dear XXL, i just want to say thank you for putting the Mane Gucci on your cover, people need to give him his just due. He may not be the most lyrical artist but hes still an artist that makes good music, he is one of my personal favorites. Yall my favorite magazine cause yall keep it real. Shout out to Gucci – Stay up, stay on ya hustle. To the federal government FREE GUCCI!!!

  • siriusharm

    This dude is what is setting hip-hop back say what you want but what has his music given us besides getting wasted, or being Icey, he has no lyrical content, and if there is any brains up their they died a long time ago after he made lemonade, and the buuurrrrrprint. The world is getting stupider and gucci mane is helping to lead the way to a retarded society, I know someone is going to say I’m “hating” because whenever you make a criticisim it’s hating nowadays. But even Stalin had followers. If you don’t know who stalin is go back to school.XXL stop being whack on other rappers accounts.

  • Swave864

    I fucks w/ Gucci!! Im glad 2 c that he is off that beef shyt! I fuck w/ ‘So Icey’ the long way. I just cant wait until Gucci n Jeezy squash this beef shyt n SHUT THE SOUTH down w/ some club n mixtape bangas’!!

    !!!!!FREE GUCCI!!!!!

  • http://www.gregcalloway.com Greg Calloway

    Gucci,

    Hold ya head! I look forward to your release and being King!

    Greg Calloway

  • siriusharms

    Prediction of the future, in the near future their will be a rapper named stinky minky, and he will have over a million fans after releasing his hit album doo-doo on my draws and the hit single skid mark money. He will have all gold teeth with diamond letters that say doo-doo. and kids around the world will get the same gold teeth. and People will play his music and say that he is better than jay-z and biggie and 2pac put together. Then Stinky minky will do a song with soulja boy called the Lumpy dumpy dance. If any one thinks this is crazy or stupid then I would agree I would also agree that it’s already happend Gucci mane is Stinky Minky and So is Soulja boy and all the other garbage rappers. The Stanky leg is the lumpy dumpy dance. But keep buying their records because It would be a shame for somebody with this much talent not to take money from their faithful fans. HOOORRAAAYYY for Idioacracy.

  • youbitches

    siruisharms I predict in the near future that you will continue to sit at home and type bullshit comments, while your father steadily gets knocked out in the real world.

    • Anonymous

      Thats the dumbbest shit, I’ve heard all day,but I apologize “youb****es” I didnt mean to disrespect your girl like that I know you love your Mane, so thats my bad you probably visit your daddy gucci mane in prison all the time. but I’m not some internet thug typeing crazy shit, to random people like you, but I relize your only mad at me cause you don’t have a father and you want Gucci mane to be your father. So in all seriousness my bad kid,tell your dad Gucci mane I apoligize Lemondade was classic better than 2pac and biggie put together he killed that shit, gotdamn Lemonadddde, a song about a drink he need a grammy for that shit shout out to “YOUb****es” for stepping up for Gucci. CHOOOOOCHIE, ooopss I meant Gucci.

  • Anonymous

    gucci manes new cd is one of the best cds ive ever bought. if u dont think this cd is hard u dont know music period. if ur a hater and dont like the man or his music dont write sum bullshit keep it to urself cuz no one wants to hear the hating.

  • Anonymous

    people hate on any artist too much becuz they cant or dont have the fucking talent to do what artists do. gucci mane is one of the hardest in the game dont hate n if u hate and u read this stick a dick in ur mouth and shut the fuck up. too many haters in this world. they hate cuz they want what people achieve and have and they hate cuz theyre not doing what the next man or girl does and thats get on that hustle and get that money. stop hating bitch asss haters suck a dick have a coke and a smile and call it a day. frreeeee gucccciiii maaaaannnnnneeeeee people also hate cuz theyre fake and they hate to c the real mothafuckers make it…. bitchasshaters

  • Anonymous

    Gucci mane is the best with lyrics like these
    My phantom sittin on sixes, no 20′s in my gun
    Your cutlass motor knockin, because it is a lemon
    My rifle’s Georgia-peaches, but you look more like a lemon
    These sour apple bitter bitches, I’m not fuckin with em
    I’m truly stupid paid that’s just how I feel today,
    I’m movin slow cause codeine syrup’s in my lemonade
    I’m standing in the shade and I’m sellin lemonade
    600 a pint ago and raise off in the “A”
    Lemonade diamond bracelet, put it in your face (BURR)
    Lemonhead diamond earrings I wore yesterday (BURR)
    I’m pimpin where I’m winnon, that’s just how I’m chillon
    I’m smokin grits and sellin chickens, corvette painted lemons”
    Who could top that I mean this probably took him months to think of surely with lyrics like these you can tell he had and education higher than a 3rd grader. I wish I could rap like gucci mane cause he just puts Jay-z to shame I mean his album is killing Biggies ready to die, or Game’s Documentary he just puts all freestyle rappers in a bucket. Gucci mane should do a song with Weird Al yankovic and call it grilled cheese sandwhiches. Forget all the other rappers like Nas, 2pac, Wu-tang, Jadakiss, Juelz santana,Kool G rap, Beanie Sigel, Snoop dogg, Royce da 5’9, Joell ortiz, Ludacris, slim thug, outkast, Cater 2 (lil wayne), Bun B, Bobby creek water, Eminem, Big L, Clipse, 8ball & MJG, Maino, Mobb deep, Kayne West, Papoose, Uncle Murda, Currency, 50, Lloyd banks, M.O.P, Sean P, Old dipset, Yeah gucci mane can out rap all of these dudes put together anybody who doesnt see that is a hater, Gucci mane is so tight he could have sex with a man and still be hard and come out with a gay sex tape call Gucci’s choochie, and every body would buy it cause gucci mane is like a god, to all black people and he represents the hood which means he represents going to jail selling drugs to black people in our neigborhood which is alright if you want to drive a car with 27 inch rims and wear plantinum chains which I do, Gucci Mane is cooler than Barack Obama he’s the hood president. When he gets out of jail I’m going to celebrate buy dancing naked to his cd. forget yall haters, you hating haters all you do is hate ,I hate haters who hate ,thats hating and I aint no hater, cus hating is hating and only haters hate to hate all you hater haters can suck a big one and Im not hating unless your a hater so go have a coke or have a pepsi but I hate pepsi oh wait I’m hating, but I still like pepsi cause I’m not a hater. Gucci is better than God cause he has gold grill yeah.

    • wow^^^

      so this dude above me^^ must’ve had some type of conflict with gucci mane since he has all this HATE built up inside him, how can you disrespect someone you dont even know?? & by the way before you judge his music listen to ALL his music cuz i bet you wouldnt think he sucks after you listen to “My Own Worst Enemy” “Classical” “Mi Casa Tu Casa” & his verse on “Crime Wave Remix” those are just a few good records by this guy, after you listen to that read your impulsive idiotic comment again & i sear you will look even more ignorant than what you portray gucci mane to be..

      • Anonymous

        How can someone be ignorant for not listening to gucci mane I think only ignorant people listen to gucci mane, cause if you go read his lyrics or listen to what he’s saying NOT THE BEAT, I REPEAT NOT THE BEAT LISTEN TO THE WORDS!!!. and you will or rather should see that he is not a rapper he has no lyricisim, no lyrical content ,he doesnt tell you a story he just talks about trivial topics Like drugs or or his diamond chains which is contributing a lot to hip-hop, thats not to say he’s the only one but he isnt bringing anything new to the brand of hip-hop. Heres an experiment you could do take Jay-z and I only use Jay-z because he is considered by many to be one of the best. but take Jay-z’s lyrics and print them out from any song he’s done and take one of Gucci manes and read jay-z’s then read gucci manes and you will see in comparison of lyrics gucci mane is at level one his rhyming scheme is like this ( I be gettin money you be lookin funny them girls laughin at you, they callin you a scrub they callin me a thug) it’s very simple and not fluent or diverse compared to a verse from Jay-z like this (I’m taking wages down in vegas just in case tyson have a major night off, thats clean money,a tax write off you ain never seen money in your life, when it comes to this cheese ya’ll like three blind mice.) Now any knowledgeable person can who has been listening to rap since the biggie and pac era or even before that can see Gucci mane has no Lyricism and this is not just compared to rappers from the east coast but you can compare Bun B a veteran of the south or Outkast, Z-ro, Clipse. No one is saying the south doesn have tight rappers people in the south just choose to embrace the ones who arent good.

  • lemonade

    this anonymousss mutha fukka,man who in the fuk u think u is. u probly some white mutha fukka with problems(craazy). what the fuk u or anybody that looks like u no about RAP MUZIC jealous ass. tel your DAD to leave children alone,tel your MOM & SISTER to stop fukking black men and u young pervert dont grow up to be like your father. no color no culture no Lips no ASS eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. STOP RECYCLING.

    • Anonymous

      To “Leomonade” I’m not racist but I can see you are, I’m not going to say what race I am but it really shouldn matter you must be one of those guys who thinks rap music is for black people only and you have an deep seated hatred for white people but I don’t blame you for that, I respect your opinion I could insult you and your family but that would lead to nothing I don’t know you and you don’t know me, I have opinions and I can state them if you dont like it thats great who cares call me what you will hater, white guy or black , or whatever you think I am, but You know I’m right about what I say if you know music as you say I don’t Listen to a Biggie album and listen to a gucci mane album and it’s easy to see Gucci mane is a terrible rapper. It’s annoying to hear people defend rappers like gucci mane who can’t freestyle like Wayne or Eminem. But you can be racist if you want but I still love black people and I got love for you so peace to you and yours and oh by the way I am black.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/YoungPrafit1 YoungPrafit

    Ok Gucci Haters How Can You Get Mad At Any Artist Because Of A Fans Opinion If They Think Someone Is Hot But You Think They’re Whack Guess What You Don’t Have To Listen To That Artists Music Switch The Channel Or Turn Your Radio Dial Don’t Go On Some Internet Crusade And Type Random Insults In Order To Persuade Others To Think The Way You Think And If You Thought Gucci Was So Whack In The First Place Why Did You Even Read This Article?… I’m Kinda Confused!!!

  • Anonymous

    I can see this is useless you muthafuckas is all dumb the world is coming to an end and all you fucks are helping to get us there everything is getting dumber songs people laws, music movies so why bother enjoy embracing a rapper who has no lyrical talent, no relative story or message to convery like dear mama from tupac, or juicy from biggie. fuck it. fuck tupac fuck biggie fuck everyone that took time to write good rhymes to make hip-hop a global movement cause now that anyone can be a rapper thier is no lyricisim only swag and and tight jeans hip-hop is fucking dead and dudes like you killed it by not holding rappers to a higher standard so fuck you and gucci mane.

  • Ivory

    Gucci said some real life shit in this interview. I got a lil more respect for him, too bad his lyrics make him look like the exact opposite of what he’s sayin in the interview. Contrary word from a rapper. Wouldnt be the first time. I still commend the dude for speakin real shit tho.

  • TheBoyElz

    This was a pretty good interview…for one thing gucci showed a bit a remorse for punchin that girl backstage at one of his shows & i felt his response when asked about the man he shot, sayin he would rather not wish that on nobody instead of tryna glorify it…..but my favorite part was him explainin that skit about jay-z, i mean its one thing for a rapper to express confidence in his craft but at the same time some of the greatest in hiphop had let they music do the talkin & left it for the fans to decide, i mean they can come out proclaimin “greatest alive” 1000 times but its the fans that determine ya place in hiphop

  • Anonymous

    MAN FUCK GUCCI MANE HIS RHMES IS SHIT EVEERYONE NO THAT!!!! He a real nigga ill give him that, but as far as rap??? Hov, Em or Wayne please continue to help jeep it alive!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Never free gucci keep him locked up throw away the key then incinerate it in a tub of acid and along with all his garbage ass albums,we want real rap not that betty crocker oven baked bullshit he talking about.

  • http://www.myspace.com/shasheriashirika SHA EMPERESS

    ATL STAND UP!

    THANK YOU GUCCI FOR YOUR WISE WORDS.
    GOD KNOWS WE NEED THEM.HIP-HOP PLEASE LISTEN TO
    WISDOM.

    ONE LOVE

    SHA EMPERESS A/K/A SHA E

    HIP HOP JOURNALIST