Radric Davis is known by many monikers: Gucci Mane, Guwop, La Flare, Trap God, Mr. Zone 6. But one word might stand the test of time more than any other: influencer.
After his four-months-early release from prison Thursday afternoon (May 26), it's the appropriate time to survey the game's landscape and pinpoint the artists who have been influenced by the ice-cream cone tattoo-bearing Atlanta rap icon. Whether it's his flow, his style, his advice about the music industry or something completely different, Gucci has made an undeniable impact on each of these rappers' careers. Each of the following artists speak on Gucci's influence either in interviews or in their song lyrics.
Rhymers from across the nation -- including Chicago, New Jersey and, of course, Atlanta -- have all looked up to Gucci as arguably the hardest working and most consistent artist of the 2000s and 2010s. The evidence lies in the output. Gucci continued to bless the streets with mixtapes and albums while he was locked up. Unless you've been checking the XXL website every day (which you should be!), it was probably difficult keeping up with every single project the "So Icy" rapper released from prison. From Mr. Clean: The Middle Man, toBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner(can't forgetDessert!), toTrap House 5, toKing GucciTrapology, toThe Spot Soundtrack, toEast Atlanta Santa 2and much, much more, Guwop didn't leave his fans disappointed while behind bars.
Now, with the news he's recording and already has a new song out, "First Day Out Tha Feds," let's celebrate with a look at some of the artists who have carried the torch in his absence. Physical absence, that is -- because his frequent drops made it feel like he never really left, didn't they?
In an interview with Hard in the Paint, 21-year-old Chicago rapper Lil Bibby cites Guwop as one of his biggest influences.
"Gucci -- that was one of my favorite rappers when I was younger, man," Bibby says. "When we was younger, we used to compare Gucci and Lil Wayne. Gucci is the man in Chicago still. Gucci runs Chicago right now."
Fetty Wap's entry into music, his work ethic, even his rap moniker, can all be traced back to Radric Davis.
In his very first interview with a major publication -- a November 2014 appearance in XXL's The Break -- the Paterson, N.J. native lists Gucci Mane as his No. 1 influence. And it shows. Fetty has adopted Gucci's tireless work ethic, churning out tracks at light speed for his fans alongside best friend and frequent collaborator, Monty. In later interviews, the Remy Boyz frontman expounds on his appreciation for Guwop.
In an interview with DJ Whoo Kid, Fetty, 24, explains that he was such a big Gucci fan that his nickname in Paterson used to be Wop, short for Guwop. He eventually landed on Fetty Wap as his stage name.
Fetty then goes on to say why he was such a big Gucci fan growing up. "I'm from the trap. When you live a certain way, and a certain person can relate to how you're living, you kind of adapt to them," he tells DJ Whoo Kid.
In a separate interview with DJ Smallz Eyes, Fetty says, "My flows and my concepts are inspired by Gucci Mane. If you listen to me, and if you listen to his old music, you can hear it in me. It's a force of habit. I can't help it."
"A lot of people say he's not a rapper, or so he doesn't have bars, but to me I don't really base rap on bars," Fetty tells DJ Smallz Eyes. "I base it on what you've been through. Everything Gucci raps about, he can prove it to you, 100 percent."
OG Maco bust onto the scene with his 2014 banger "U Guessed Hit," but the 24-year-old College Park, Ga. native is as versatile as they come in terms of styles.
The 2015 track "OG Mac" might be the closest Guwop imitation by any artist to date. OG Maco uses Gucci's exact flow and voice inflection as a salute to the Brick Squad CEO. He also big-ups La Flare in his lyrics.
"This shit sound like Guwop and free Guwop, pray he free next year," OG Maco spits over the Zaytoven-produced instrumental. Looks like Maco's prediction was right, as the Trap God returned home Thursday afternoon.
21 Savage grew up in the same East Atlanta neighborhood as Gucci. In an interview with DJ Smallz Eyes, the 21-year-old rapper credits La Flare for paving the way for young artists such as himself.
"I pay homage to [Gucci], because he opened doors for a n--a like me," 21 Savage says.
To fully pay his respects, Atlanta's rising star released an entire EP in July 2015 entitled Free Guwop.
"It was a couple n--as around here screaming 'Free Guwop,' but I just stamped that shit, because I respect Gucci Mane and what he did for Atlanta," Savage says.
If you want to hear the two on the same track, listen to 21 Savage and Gucci Mane's collaboration "Peepin." Read more about 21 Savage in XXL's The Break.
Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka's relationship is well-documented. They were once friends and business partners -- the cornerstones of the 1017 Brick Squad lineup prior to Waka's dismissal in 2013. Their beef lasted two years before Waka said it was finally squashed.
Although their business partnership may be done for good, Waka, 29, remains honest and direct about Gucci's influence on both himself and on the new crop of younger rappers.
"I told Gucci, 'You're the Godfather of this shit. Real talk. You follow me? You created this shit. I was the spokesman for what you created," Waka told Hot 97. "And these young n--s seen it. From Thug, to Boo Dirty, to Young Dolph, to Migos, to everybody. Anybody you can think about, they came from us."
Check out the interview below to hear Waka go in-depth about Gucci's imprint on the ATL rap scene.
Young Thug has long been affiliated with Gucci and Brick Squad, and Thugga Thugga's loyalty for La Flare has never wavered.
Thugger's full-fledged superstardom hasn't diminished his respect for Gucci.
In an interview with The Guardian, Thug says, "If Gucci calling your phone – the man's a fucking legend – why won't you answer your phone? How could you ever think you're bigger than him?"
Likewise, Guwop speaks highly of Thug any chance he gets. Take the following snippet from an interview with The Fader, for example, in which he discloses that he encouraged Thugger to continue using his unique delivery.
"Thug is one of the most talented rappers I've ever met... You can hear a verse and then the chorus and you’ll think it’s two different artists, but it'll be Thug on the same song," Gucci says. "I like the way he records and the way he approaches his verses. He works hard and he’s different."
Gucci Mane's impact on Offset, 24; Quavo, 25; and Takeoff, 21, is undeniable.
"That's our big brother," Takeoff says in an interview with DJ Scream and Hoodrich Radio. "He's like a mentor to us," Quavo adds.
Like many current ATL rappers, Migos grew up listening to and watching Gucci Mane -- studying his tendencies and applying them to their own budding music careers.
Speaker Knockerz was one of the brightest up-and-comers before his untimely death in 2014.
The 19-year-old rapper/producer made beats for some of the biggest names in the game, including Gucci Mane on tracks like "Re-Up" and "No Good."
Before he passed, the South Carolina native was one of Gucci's biggest supporters and didn't hesitate to give him his props for influencing a younger generation of artists.
On the song "Dap You Up," Speaker Knockerz raps, "You rappers hot you better thank Mr. Guwop/Go steal his flow 'cuz if you don't your shit gon' flop."
Chief Keef, 20, has been drawing Guwop comparisons since his ascension into the rap mainstream. When Sosa was still relatively unknown apart from in his hometown Chicago, he rapped with a clear, pinpoint delivery.
Towards the release of his debut album, Finally Rich, Keef began using a more jumbled flow, reminiscent of Gucci. Their subject matters have always overlapped.
The two have collaborated on plenty of records, and they also made an entire project together called Big Gucci Sosa.
Keef big-ups his elder statesman on the song "Paper" when he spits, "They like 'Sosa, why you runnin' through 100 thousand?/I ain't never had no paper/I ain't 'Wop, I ain't Jay, but I was making 500 every day."
At 31, Peewee Longway is the oldest rapper to make our list. However, his spot is well-merited thanks to his close connection with the Trap God.
Peewee and Gucci have collaborated on tons of tracks and mixtapes, including Money Pounds Ammunition and The White Album.
In an interview courtesy of SayCheeseTV, Peewee explains how his relationship with Gucci developed in East Atlanta over time.
"Long story short, I watched Guwop's career grow," Peewee says. "He's a street n--a, and I'm a street n--a, so it didn't take long for us to bond. So we knew each other over the streets, but he heard I was f--kin' around with the rap shit through one of my other big homies."
"He hadn't even heard a damn thing I [rapped]. He just told me to pull up, so I pulled up," Peewee tells SayCheeseTV. "You know how it goes. Free Guwop.He gives me tips on the game, and I give him tips on the game.""