GUCCI MANE: A totally criminal rap legend
Gucci Mane’s real name is Radric Davis, and he has become an almost mystical figure on the international rap scene. He has founded his own unique ghetto genre and is a pioneer who put the hip hop subgenre of trap music on the world map. However, Gucci Mane is not just known for his musical talent. His propensity for criminality and interest in fashion has also generate a huge amount of debate. He has shot a man, beat up another man with a pool cue and made a controversial campaign for fashion brand Gucci.
Who is Gucci Mane – from drug kingpin to star rapper
Finding out exactly what Gucci Mane is able to or not able to do can be difficult. But he is certainly capable. He is the uncrowned king of the hip hop subgenre of trap music, he has taken the pop music world by storm and he has delivered one feature after another with some of the biggest contemporary artists around. But how does a drug kingpin transform himself into a popular rap star?
Radric Delantic Davis was born in Bessemer in Alabama on 12 February 1980. He grew up with his mother and half-brother in an area that was high in crime. His father, Ralph Everett Dudley, was a local power plant worker and his mother was a social worker and teacher. However, Davis’ father ran into serious trouble with the law because he supplemented his pay at the power plant by selling cocaine. This meant that Davis’ father was constantly on the run from the police and was more or less never around. In other words. Davis’ father was mostly absent and rarely visited him. This father-son relationship was definitively broken when Davis’ father had two children with another woman and began to prioritize these new children. His sporadic visits ended and the relationship was broken.
In 1989, Davis and his mother moved to Atlanta, where Davis attended Cedar Grove Elementary School. This was the beginning of his much discussed criminal career, which the popular rapper has only recently ended.
A staggering criminal career.
Davis did well at school, but when he and his half-brother Victor Davis started to sell cannabis at the school, they grew a liking for the easy money they made from this criminal activity. Davis started his career as a drugs dealer in 8th grade.
His hobby as a drug dealer became a career path when he started attending Ronald E. Mcnair High School in Atlanta. He became a popular figure and his popularity made it easier for him to sell drugs. Even though Davis had sold drugs for two years, he had never been involved in any episodes of violence. That changed in 1995 when he was 15 years old. One day when Davis cycled home from school he was stopped by a man who threatened him with a pistol. The man stole everything of value that Davis had and the incident led Davies to arm himself. Criminal activity became his main source of income and several similar incidents occurred during this time.
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A short timeline of Gucci Mane’s most serious breaches of the law.
- April 2001: Gucci Mane’s first time spent behind bars occurred in 2001, after the rapper was arrested for possession of cocaine. He was given a 90 day prison sentence.
- May 2005: When Gucci Mane’s feud with Jeezy (formerly Young Jeezy) was at its height, five men attempted to rob Gucci Mane because of disagreements relating to the rights for the song “Icy”, which the two rappers had produced together. The five men attempted to assault Gucci, and Gucci shot one of the men, which he later claimed was self-defence. The man who was shot was called Pookie Loc (born Henry Clark III), and three days later after the incident, he was found dead at a local school. Gucci was subsequently arrested but paid the 24 May caution of USD 100,000. The payment was made on the same day his debut album “Trap House” was released. The murder investigation was officially closed on January 2006 because there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the case.
- July 2005: Gucci Mane was arrested in Miami in July 2005, for an assault carried out on the same month. A promoter visited “Big Cat Records”, which was a record company that Gucci was associated with at the time the assault was reported. The promoter stated that Gucci had assaulted him with a pool cue after an argument. Gucci was later found guilty and sentenced to six months in prison. He was actually serving time for this crime when the Pookie Loc murder investigation was closed down.
- April 2011: Gucci Mane was arrested for assault. The episode occurred after he asked a woman outside a shopping mall in Atlanta if she would have breakfast with him. The women agreed to be driven in Gucci Mane’s Hummer, after which Gucci Mane offered her 150 dollars to go with him to his hotel. The women refused the offer, which the rapper was very unhappy about. When the woman refused him, he leaned against her on the passenger side, open the door and pushed the innocent women out of the car while it was moving.
- March 2013: Atlanta police issued an arrest order for Gucci Mane in March 2013 because he had attacked a fan who had attempted to take a picture of him. James, an American soldier, who was present at the Harlem Night Club, spoke with Gucci Mane’s bodyguard outside the VIP area and enquired whether it was possible to have a picture taken with the rapper. This provoked Gucci Mane, who attacked the man with a champagne bottle. The man was struck over the head with the bottle and immediately driven to Grady Memory Hospital, where he received 10 stitches and was diagnosed with concussion.
- May 2014: Gucci Mane pleaded guilty to the possession of a weapon in May 2014. He accepted a plea bargain and was sentenced to three years and three months in prison. However, after spending two years in prison, he was released in May 2016. In an interview made shortly after his release, he explained to author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell, that the time spent in prison saved his life: ”I was outta control (…) I wouldn’t want to do it over, but in hindsight it helped me.”
Since his release in 2016, Gucci Mane has not committed any crimes. He has stopped taking drugs and alcohol, and seems to be in control of his criminal urges.
The controversial campaign with Gucci
It is hard to imagine a better collaboration than the collaboration between Gucci Mane and the leading Italian fashion house Gucci. However, there was an issue with the collaboration because the fashion house Gucci had recently run into trouble with its own version of the ‘Blackface’ scandal.
Gucci had launched a polo neck jumper that first glance, look like an ordinary polo neck jumper. But what people could not see straight away, was that the polo neck jumper had an inner black mask with a red mouth that could be pulled up over the face. The polo neck jumper was quickly removed from the market because the design reminded people of the historic use of ‘blackface’, where white people would paint their faces black and their mouths red to create the illusion they were a black person. The polo neck jumper created an uproar and Gucci was accused of working with racist and insulting motifs.
A year later, they were still very many people who had not forgiven Gucci for its ‘blackface’ controversy. Therefore, Gucci Mane now suddenly becoming a front figure in a brand-new Gucci campaign generated a lot of debate. Many people felt that a black rapper should not associate himself with the Italian luxury fashion house. However, the trap king himself did not agree. He saw Gucci asking him to be in their advertising campaign as a victory.
“I won’t say that they need me, but I believe it’s a clear 360 compared to the relationship we had previously, where they sued me more than a hundred times, to now where they embrace me, and we are teaming up. It’s dope,” said Gucci Mane in an interview with radio host Ebro on Hot 97.
However, at the same time he made it clear he had been just as angry as everyone else when Gucci’s much discussed polo neck sweater hit the stores. But he also meant that he could participate in the campaigns and create meaningful change for both black people and the fashion industry as a whole.
You can purchase Gucci Mane’s used clothes on Instagram.
Earlier in the year, Danish rapper Kesi, announced that he would sell his used clothes on an Instagram profile he had created for that purpose. Whether Gucci Mane was inspired by the Dane is unknown, but the rap king from Atlanta has launched a similar project. Gucci Mane created the profile Wobsters Closet in collaboration with his wife, Keyshia Ka’oir.
As they both announced on their respective Instagram profiles, using the profile Wobsters Closet, you can see which items of clothing the celebrities have put up for sale. However, the sale of the actual items must be made through the online store with the same name.
The couple claim that all of the products that can be purchased in the online store were personally purchased by Keyshia and Gucci Mane. Some of the products are brand-new. Some of the products have been worn by the couple. There is a huge range of products on sale in the online store, including brands Balenciaga, Gucci, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Dolce Gabbana and Tom Ford.