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Gucci Mane’s a big deal in the rap community.
But he’s never had a number one hit type album, and he’s more of a fringe cult figure in the larger pop cultural landscape.
Is that changing?
Today, Gucci was the subject of a long profile in the New York Times.
In the article, Gucci discusses what a huge drug addict he’d been for his entire adult life, and how prison cleaned him up.
I felt like I couldn’t make music sober, I couldn’t enjoy my money sober. Why would I wanna go to a club and couldn’t smoke or drink? I felt like sex wouldn’t be good sober. I associated everything with being high.
“In hindsight I see it for what it was: I was a drug addict,” he said. “I was naïve to the fact that I was numb.”
“I can’t say I felt happy my last six, seven years in the music business,” he continued. “I was just numb. You told me that I was doing good or told me I was doing bad, you hated me or loved me, either which way I greeted with nonchalance. It was sincere nonchalance — like, I really didn’t care.”
Gucci says cleaning up wasn’t easy and that withdrawal felt like “death.”
However, getting sober in prison had some big advantages: There were fewer temptations and it allowed Gucci to get into a routine that included working out and reading the Bible and self-help books.
Will a clean and sober Gucci Mane be able to make the jump from cult hero and regional trap lord to legitimate super star?
We’ll have a better answer after his first post-prison album, Everybody Looking, drops on Friday, July 22.