When Gucci Mane laughs, you can see the innocence in him. At the moment, hes in between press engagements and a promotional run across the nation to promote his new album, Trap House. However, laughing at jokes the of Fat Cat Records co-owner Jacob "The Chancellor" York might exude the simple nature of Gucci, but law officials in Georgia says hes very far from naive.
Songs like So Icy" and "Black Tee had him buzzing like Russell Simmons pager, but at the height of his acclaim, it happened. It turned out to be a dead body identified as Henry Clark that was found in woods near a middle school. The rapper, whose real name is Radric Davis, stands accused of the murder.
After a stint in the DeKalb County jail, Gucci profusely proclaimed his innocence and said that several gun-wielding men set him up using a stripper. He claims self-defense in the shooting death. In fact, he said he departed the scene not knowing that somebody was hit. AllHipHop.com sat in a nondescript office space in a discrete location and got to know one Radric Davis known to the world as Gucci Man.
AllHipHop.com: There are a lot of perceptions about you now. So, tell me: Who is Gucci Mane?
Gucci Mane: Im a son, you know. Ive got a lovely mother. I got two brothers one older, one younger. You know what? Im just just a regular dude, man.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, okay talk about your album a little bit?
Gucci Mane: My album is entitled Trap House, and in Atlanta the trap house is like a spot where people are always able to get it poppin and, you know, make there money at. But to me a trap house could be a lawyers office, it could be a place like the hood, it could be a police officer when he does his shift, it could be a baker of a doughnut shop or whatever. You got some of the hottest producers out there you got Frank Nitty, dem boys got worked. You got Shotty Real, who dropped Left, Right, Left he produced another platinum single. I got The Heatmakers they makin the stuff. Oh hold up one sec I also got a bunch of peoples on there, on the album, I got um Killa Mike on there, I got Bun B on there, I got Lil Scrap on there, I got Joe Dabris and the Boyz in da Hood, I got Khujo Goodie.
AllHipHop.com: So how did you get started rhyming I mean what made you start rhyming?
Gucci Mane: Actually to be honest it go way back to when I was in first grade, when I was in first grade I used to write poetry, I wrote a poem for Mothers Day, you know what Im saying, and it won a contest back in Alabama. After that, I start to just write poetry a lot cause I would just play with words - I used to just make big words rhyme together. I was real good at making acronyms. I started listening to rappers growing up and than I just wanted to be a rapper because I liked the fashion, I loved how they dressed, I liked that they kicked it, I liked the attention that they get, all the girls everything about Hip-Hop it just drawed me to it.
AllHipHop.com: Lookin into this controversy some more with you and Jeezy. you know I dont know what its all about the situation and everything I mean what happened you know- theres speculation you know- just what you can say you know at least?
Gucci Mane: First, I didnt even know Young Jeezy, I had never heard his music, never heard anything about him, but I seen him at a clothing store called Walters in Atlanta so he was in there - Im like buying two or three shoes, I seen the guy buy ten or fifteen pairs of shoes, iced out, and I have so-called Black Ten at the time so me and my little click, you know we get to passing out some CDs, so I got to approach him to give him a CD, so he sees the CD and he like, Oh, you Gucci Mane? He was like a big fan of us cause we talk about killing, and we also talk about hustling. So, he was a fan of mine I wasnt a fan of his. So he feel like can I come to the studio, the next day, to record a song with him, so the next day we go to the studio and I bought some beats and already had a song I written on called, Icy, so I brought it to him, and started singing it to him he said he didnt want to do it or whatever he said he didnt like stuff like that. He wanted some gutter stuff, so I started rapping some of my gangsta stuff, and I kept on with the song like, Lets work on this song right here, it would be tight. So I paid Jeezy to get on the song, paid [one of his associates] to get on the song and than after that, it just turned into a big hit. But at the time, I never knew Id put Jeezy on the song cause I already had the song written, but like I said I just met at the store, and we just clicked at the time.
AllHipHop.com: Now, is it true that Jeezy wanted the song?
Gucci Mane: Jeezy had tried to get the song, Jeezy and Def Jam wanted the song real bad, but then they said they had sold the demos to Big Kat Records, to my CEO. Big Kat is jacking you up, trying to request the song but after we denied them, cause the money that they tried to offer us was not enough. They tried to go on press, go on radio, he got the diss video and publicly dissing. So we had to respond with a song, cause they had a song about me where he said he would take my chain and put all that water on it, and theres a comeback song to it, you know just related to all that beef and thats controversial. Well anyways it gravitated from being on wax to actually being on the street, he tried to send some people to kill [me], and in the midst of that, I had to defend myself. So now Im on trial for murder. See what Im saying?
AllHipHop.com: Are you sure that it was him?
Gucci Mane: I know they did it.
AllHipHop.com: I heard, that the dude that was killed
Gucci Mane: The dude that was killed was called Pookie Loc. They say he was signed to Jeezys label so he had major affiliation with Young Jeezy. They from the same neighborhood in Macon, Georgia.
AllHipHop.com: Now, do you feel that he took you for a joke, I mean Im not trying to say
Gucci Mane: They, they had no respect for me at all. They think of me as a peon: Im small and they big. Its not true, you know what Im saying, but its just the facts that I could tell how they see me from the way that they try me. I dont have a problem with nobody looking down at me cause Im independent, and Im from small company not as big as their company. Well, I was very proud of what we were doing. So that kind of knocked me off my rocker.
AllHipHop.com: It has been suggested from your detractors that what happened was a marketing stunt gone bad.
Gucci Mane: What kind of marketing stunt would involve a man on trial for murder with his whole life in the courts hands? Aint no way in the world that somebody would do that. Thats so, so stupid of him to say that, it just shows his lack of intelligence that he would even try to say, Oh this is a marketing plan, cause that there dont even add up. What marketing plan do you have where you send five other guys to kill me? My song was tearing it up it was tearing up the airwaves everybody who heard it loved it, and you know you didnt write it. Your hearts just eating you up.
AllHipHop.com: The controversy, as far as you know you are on trial for murder, are you nervous, what are your thoughts?
Gucci Mane: To be honest I dont worry about it at all, Im not nervous at all. My label is keeping me so busy, I dont even have time to worry you know what Im saying. Im really promoting and just staying so busy and focused. I feel like God is on my side so I dont have nothing to worry about.
AllHipHop.com: How about your family?
Gucci Mane: My mother, shes the one that shes so strong. I dont know about my father, hes not around right now, so hes still here. but we dont talk as much. I know Im not a murderer. I wouldnt go out there and just murder nobody so I dont worry about that.
AllHipHop.com: So are you planning to go to trial or have they offered you a plea?
Gucci Mane: No, none of that I havent been in court ever since I got out of jail.
AllHipHop.com: Now you wrote a poem while in jail what made you do that?
Gucci Mane: I was in isolation, you know like twenty-four hour lock down, cant go nowhere else, cant see nobody. It just came to me you know, I was just sitting there you know I asked for a piece of paper and it just came out.
AllHipHop.com: What made you ask for people to pray for Jeezy?
Gucci Mane: For the same prayer the Lord said pray for your enemy. He dont know what hes doing, he dont know how many lives hes affecting, so his stupidity needs to be prayed for, cause somebody needs to help him. I dont believe that he knows hes hurt as many people as hes hurt. I know that I watch my actions and I watch what I say because I know what you say trickles down and that could hurt a lot of people. But he dont got no regard for that.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think about all the cases that rappers are catching? I mean Cassidy just got one it seems like every month theres a new one
Gucci Mane: Actually, actually me and Cassidy, were like close homeboys - were cool, weve spoke on the phone before. He got to come to a couple of shows you know, so my heart goes out to him and his family. A rapper is still a human being, is still a Black person, is still a Black male - crime happens. Murders occur, its happened since the beginning of time. Just cause you start rapping and get money, that really puts you in a situation where you can get into more trouble rather than not get into more trouble. A lot of people dont understand, they think that know that youre rapping it means that youre supposed to turn your life around. Like you say, every week every month, one of the best rappers goes down. There are some really talented people behind bars right now, and Im definitely not trying to be one of them.
AllHipHop.com: If you could do anything all over again what would you do?
Gucci Mane: I went through a lot of things in my life, a lot of serious things. Ive been through some things that prolly a lot of I would never wish on my worst enemy and if I were to do it all over, I swear to God I would change nothing
AllHipHop.com: Really, why is that?
Gucci Mane: Its made me who I am today, and I am proud of that.