After three years in prison, rapper Gucci Mane emerged last May such a changed man—in looks and in spirits—that some conspiracists theorized he had been replaced by a government clone. The old Gucci was dead. Transformation is indeed a theme in the life of 37-year-old, Atlanta-born Radric Delantic Davis who, in November, scored his first Billboard Hot 100 number one for his feature on Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles.” This year, the metamorphosis from anti-hero to superhero continues with his upcoming 11th album, a memoir published by Simon & Schuster, a new clothing line, and his first-ever tour. Gucci sat down with Marilyn Manson to talk about his greatest competition: himself.
MARILYN MANSON You look fucking handsome as shit, first of all.
GUCCI MANE I appreciate it, man. All them years of being away from the lifestyle kind of got me back right.
MM I think that our first conversation that we had, we said we would be the perfect wingmen for each other, because we would confuse the shit out of girls. Then we did that song, “Fancy Bitch (Pussy Wet),” which I’ve played at strip clubs and, guaranteed, it makes it rain.
GM A lot of people ask me about that song. People didn’t expect for us to just meet and click like that.
MM Anyway, I’m supposed to be interviewing you. What do you think about the whole election thing?
GM For me, after being locked up for 3 years, right now, I’m optimistic about everything. I feel like things can only go up for me because my last year was so bad and so hard. I don’t give a damn who the president is right now. My future is brighter than it’s ever been.
MM That is the best answer I have ever heard.
GM If Hillary won, if Jeb Bush won, if Ben Carson won, I got the same plan: get me some money, keep putting out my music, keep just trying to be a better person than what I was. Four years from now, I expect to be in a better position than I’m in now, but I don’t feel like the president is going to put me in a better position.
MM You have a book coming out. Tell me about it.
GM A lot of events happened in my life. I had a murder charge. I almost got locked up for murder, but they threw it out. I felt like people always wanted to know, not necessarily what happened, since it was all over the news, but how I felt, what was going through my mind.
MM When did you start writing?
GM Maybe two years ago. I wrote it when I was in prison. A lot of people write autobiographies, but I’ve read so many of them, and everything they tell you you basically already know. I want to know what Mike Tyson was thinking when he was fighting Holyfield. I don’t want to know what happened, I watched it. When I was locked up and they put me in the hole, this is what I was doing to keep my sanity. This is how I was protecting myself.
MM Do you think that your rap sheet or your rap songs are better?
GM I think they parallel. I went through a lot of good things and fun things and a lot of hard things.
MM Your new music is more personal.
GM I feel like I’m past a lot of things. I went through it, I’m proud that I went through it, and I’m still here. I could have been dead or I could have been doing life in prison, but I’m doing good.
MM Does it make you feel good that maybe other people will read the book and not make the same mistakes?
GM I’m not trying to be a role model. I’m not the preachy type of person. Because when I was doing what I was doing, no one could tell me anything. I had chances, but I blew them. Now I ain’t got no more chances, and so many people wrote me off that my pride is making me come back and be like, Look at me now. It’s not even so much being a role model. It’s revenge. Like, Y’all thought it was over.
MM With pride, that means you have to say to yourself, as good as you were, there can be better.
GM It’s like I keep competing with myself. Not competing with other artists, but competing with the attention of the public. It’s like a drug. I don’t want to take the attention from anybody else, but I definitely love the attention being on me.
MM We have to be harsh on ourselves.
GM Even us having this conversation now, it makes me want to be like, Damn, now I gotta make my next project harder. Whatever I come out with in the summer, this shit gotta be smokin’ hot.
MM Do you think I should be a rapper or you should be a rock star?
GM I ain’t gonna lie, I think I could be a hell of a rock star. I’m a free spirit, I love having fun, I don’t give a fuck. Even the way I record, the way I perform, I’m unstructured. I just let the wind blow through me. I’m a hell of a recording artist, but I want to be a better live performer. This going to be my first time going on tour.
MM Being on tour is very strenuous.
GM It’s a challenge for me. But I feel powerful when I’m on that stage, like a magician. My whole thing is, how can I entertain y’all? How can I make this better than anything you’ve seen? I want you to feel like you went to another planet.
MM Would you say that you want to approach doing a rap show more like a rock-and-roll show?
GM I’ve been looking at Flaming Lips concerts and, I’m not saying I want to do it just like they did it, but I want people to feel like that when they come to my show. I just want it to be like a big party. I want people to sweat. I don’t want people to come trying to look all pretty. No, I want you to leave the concert wet as hell, like you’ve been working out for damn near an hour and a half.
MM You want to have that chaos.
GM If I could mix anybody, I would want to mix Jimi Hendrix, the Flaming Lips, and Liberace. I want to look like Liberace, just big diamonds, shining. But I want the production to be like the Lips. I want the crowd to feel that sweat, like Hendrix. That’s how I want it.
MM Can I just ask you, what the fuck did it mean when you sang the lyrics, “panties, hid in the pantry”?
GM [Laughs] It’s like a wild sex night. You went to Vegas, you’re drunk. You wake up the next day and the girl’s like, where my panties at? And you’re like, oh they’re in the refrigerator. How the fuck did they get in the refrigerator? Don’t nobody know. [Laughs]
MM See, who doesn’t want to read your book? What’s the name?
GM It don’t got one right now. I’m trying to think of a good-ass name.
MM You are one of the only people I’ve met who thinks like I do, in a rock-star way. You want to do music that’s real and hard.
GM I see a lot of people took what I did and they put their spin on it, and that’s kind of the sound of rap right now. I don’t know if it’s just like arrogance or narcissism, but I love it. I love putting stuff out there and people copy it. For some reason, I get off on it.
MM You have the craziest, coolest tattoo on your face. What flavor is the ice cream cone on your face?
GM Shit, I don’t know. I’m in the mirror looking and I don’t know.
MM What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
GM Cookies and cream.
MM Do you think that you’ll ever make a Gucci Mane action figure?
GM I think so. I think it’d be a top seller.
Photograph Terry Richardson
Fashion Carine Roitfeld
Interview Marilyn MansonEND
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createdAt:Fri, 17 Mar 2017 20:17:33 +0000