Gucci Mane: From the Trap House Back to the School House

December 18, 2007 was an important day for Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis. It had nothing to do with the release of his album, or with media drama about Young Jeezy. On this day he visited an Atlanta school in his neighborhood, Dobbs Elementary, to talk with students about getting good grades while rewarding them with some early Christmas gifts. Gucci has a lot to smile about this year with the release of his new album Back To The Trap House which penned one of the summer’s hits “Freaky Gurl.” Gucci’s former label Big Cat Records attempted to cash in on his notoriety by putting out what Gucci claims was an unauthorized album, Trap-A-Thon, prior to the official album’s December 11th release. Just two years ago Gucci was in jail serving time for an assault charge while awaiting the outcome of a murder case in which charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence. These days he’s playing a Santa of sorts to children in need. Here, Gucci Mane explains his motivation... Gucci Mane: “We just went to the kids and talked to the kids that get good grades and told [them] that I wanted to partner up with the school around the street from my house, an elementary school; they were having a lot of problems [with] a lot of the male students. I just wanted to talk to them to do better. Out of the 27 people that we got that were eligible to get toys, only nine of them were boys. I just wanted to challenge the little boys in the neighborhood to pay a little bit better [attention] to the books and stop fighting so much. I graduated from school and I definitely use school in my music so I try to just motivate them to do good; tell them it’s cool to be smart."My message was just to be respectful and disciplinary. With the kids down here they have a lot of disciplinary problems; keeping them in line so they can teach them. I wanted to tell them before they get to entrepreneurship they’re so young…respect these teachers. Listen to what they have to say. That’s the message that I was trying to get to them."I was never just a knuckle head; I was always a smart guy. Even when I hustled I hustled with a motive, I hustled with a cause. It was always about being my own boss one day. That code was always in mind. "To be honest with you though, my music is not really for younger fans. We have an artist on our label we get him to go to the schools. My music is mostly for these kids’ parents. My music is for the 18 and older. If they [kids] listen to it, it’s not for them to listen to. It’s not a message for younger kids. I’m not a kid rapper. I could go on for days, about how it affects people that I know 18 and older. I know that there are people that come to my shows; there are people that I do this stuff for. "Growing up, I liked the knowledge. I was always smart enough to know at a young age that if I couldn’t do anything else, I needed to know how to shape the world around me and apply anything to get some money. So I applied that to the rap game. It’s all about words now, how you put them together. It’s all the same things."I write all my music. I write R&B music. I’m basically a song writer. I ghost write for a lot of people. They definitely wouldn’t know that. I just wrote a song last night, me and Trey Songz."[In regards to signing Shawnna] we’re definitely trying to make that happen. She just got out of her deal with DTP. [A joint venture with DTP] is not something that I wouldn’t want. I’m a big fan of DTP. Shout out to DTP. I always see Ludacris, all of them show me love. I’m a big fan of Ludacris. He’s my homie. "Shawnna definitely wants to get on with So Icey Entertainment and we want her there. I got her on two songs on my own album. I also gave her songs where me and my producer produced and let her do two versus. I only got one verse on my own album to get her some exposure. I always liked her style. I feel like she’s one of the best rappers in the game right now, male or female."[Regarding the beef with Young Jeezy] I don’t know if I necessarily did anything about it. I just kept on continuing on with my life. I don’t even concentrate on nobody. I just let the media do the talking I just rap and make the money baby. They don’t affect my life at all. Honestly. I’ve been just gearing up for my new album. I’ve been writing new lyrics because I have to be back in studio in January; the first of January. It’s about to come out in May or June. I just dropped the album so we’re trying to see how many I sold today. Its big things going on with So Icey, we just gotta’ be patient. "I went to that school the day before yesterday I had so much fun…I went back today! I went to another school [Harper’s Elementary] today and I had a pizza party with some more kids. I gave them from Play Station 2s all the way down to guitars. I like to give back. I really like doing this stuff. I feel like I wasn’t always financially stable enough to give back. I always said that once I did achieve that I would do it. I’ve been waiting on that for a long time.”