La Flare opens up about the trials and tribulations with his personal testimony from his latest book release, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane.
The thing about The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, by Gucci Mane and Neil Martinez-Belkin, is that it was unexpected. Sandwiched between incredible imagery on both sides of the cover and an all-over print inside, of Guwop’s infamous ice cream tattoo, were two sections dedicated to unreleased photos of the Trap God that divided the autobiography into thirds. I didn’t know what to expect when I first opened the book, but I knew it was going to be as entertaining as anything Gucci has ever made.
Starting with his early years in Alabama, we’re introduced to not just Gucci but his whole family. It’s a quick genealogy which feels less like a history lesson and more like the intro to a movie: you know something good is about to happen, it is just a matter of when and how.
Watching Gucci’s rise from street hustler to rapper, seeing the man grow from hustling at a now infamous Texaco station to aspiring music mogul, and into the icon we know him as is something unexplainable. Gucci’s approach to everything is visual, allowing you to realize it was all the same to him. It was a way to achieve the dream he wanted since he was young: to make money. But the nuances of Neil and Gucci’s writing leans itself to other aspects of Gucci’s drive. Showing us that music was different, more than “just another hustle” in the end, “I could see the look on people’s face when they came through. My studio was no longer a fun place to be.”
This being said though, there are some moments that leave something to be desired. Gucci doesn’t detail the incident that led to his murder charge, the beef between him and former prodigy Waka Flaka Flame, etc. Understandably though, Gucci doesn’t want to implicate himself in certain situations nor does he want to create more beef between himself and other rappers. We see how Gucci had made a contract offer to then unknown Young Thug within minutes of meeting him or how the legendary “Lemonade” came to be: “So I took the twenty-five thousand I’d had already promised Peewee, gave it to Young Thug, and signed him on the spot.” Moments like this, the lesser known deals, give balance.
The insight into The Trap God’s personal life isn’t the most compelling aspect of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Instead, it’s the way it is written. The entire book feels less like an autobiography but rather a conversation. From the first page, it feels like it is “Story Time with Gucci Mane.” The wording is precise and purposeful while maintaining a sense of casual conversation. This turns the story into something moving and meaningful, much more so than the usual “hustler to rapper” story we see. There isn’t one reason to doubt that things happened the way described. It gives insight into the emotions of Gucci both then and now:
“Over the years I tried to numb those feelings, to forget them, to pretend they didn’t bother me. Didn’t work. There are some things in life you can never completely walk away from.”
This book solidifies something that some of us may have thought but never wanted to say publicly: Gucci Mane is just as important to hip-hop as any other, yes including Biggie, Tupac, Kanye, and Jay-Z. The moniker of Trap God may have come about as a publicity move, an effective one at that, but at this point, it is a title that has been more than earned. Surviving the harshest streets of Atlanta, multiple prison sentences, addictions, and the cutthroat game that is hip-hop, Gucci Mane proves that he deserves to be held in the company of the greats and he is still in a never-ending prime.
Pick up your own copy of The Autobiography of Gucci Mane from Amazon or any major bookseller, although we prefer that you get it from a local store.
With a background in studying pop culture, philosophy and literature; Nate takes an almost academic approach in thinking about the things he loves whether its punk, hip hop, the NBA or art.