The views expressed inside this editorial aren't
necessarily the views of AllHipHop.com or its employees."The term role model generally means any "person who serves as an example, whose behavior is emulated by others" - Wikipedia
This is something I will make sure never happens again. My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community. - Gucci Mane after 6 months of incarceration
Well, this is the here and the now. So, I won't waste your time talking about Gucci's past. He's got a pretty long history of behavior unbecoming of a role model. But that's beside the point. The past is just that and now is right now.
I hope Gucci Mane is sincere about his "promise" to become a "role model" for young kids (and some adults). I also hope that it is not the fraudulent claims of a rapper that had some PR maven and label person tell him what to say.
I interviewed and met Gucci, a few years ago. He was a pretty soft-spoken dude that was in some serious shooting drama with a purported associate of Young Jeezy. But, I sensed something about him. I felt that he didn't want to be there, in that situation, and that he wanted to get as far away from that sort of beef as soon possible. I may have imagined it, but sensed he wanted a change.
Rappers are no world savers, by any stretch of the imagination, but they do bear influence. The proof of this influence ranges from Jay-Z helping get Barack Obama elected to the slang we use on a daily basis to our thoughts and actions. So, if you think rappers aren't influencing you in some way or another - how ever subtle - you are likely lying to yourself.
So, then there is Radric Davis aka Gucci Mane aka one of the most popular rappers out. He's also one of the most criticized and he ushers in others (Waka Flocka, OJ Da Juiceman) that are dissed regularly by lyrical aficionados and those screaming for their artists to do more. I am a part of the latter group: those expecting more from the artists.
So, Gucci, on behalf of the conscientious, intelligent and concerned people of the world, we accept the proposal.
We want to see you become a role model.
PS: And while you are at it, spread it around to the homies. Waka Flocka has been shot and punched in the eye since you were away. We don't need that and neither do the impressionable youth.
Here is a video of the press conference and Gucci's full statement is below.
Statement By Gucci Mane Upon Release From Fulton County Prison:
(Atlanta, GA)--"First and foremost I would like to thank my legal counsel Dwight Thomas and Michael Holmes for their excellent representation, as well as my label Asylum and Warner Brothers Records for sticking with me through my situation and helping me through my time behind bars. Most importantly, I want to thank all of my fans for their support while I have been away. Your letters and your words of encouragement helped me make it through. None of my success would be possible without you.
I have made some mistakes in my life that have hurt a lot of people who care about me. I have worked very hard to get past them, but those mistakes have brought me to where I am today, and they will not be repeated. These past six months have been a difficult time but fortunately I have learned a great deal from my experience. I was able to do a great deal of soul searching; I am coming out with a new attitude towards life.
Unfortunately, my incarceration also came at a pivotal point in my career, just as my first major label album was dropping. I was forced to miss what should have been one of the proudest moments of my life. This is something that I will make sure never happens again. My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community. I am looking towards the future with a newfound respect and appreciation for the law and a strong dedication to my music and my career.
With that in mind, I have already begun to make positive strides towards the future. I have launched a new label, 1017 Brick Squad Records in affiliation with Asylum/Warner Bros Records, and I am working with a new team.
I am looking forward to getting back to business and to start making hits. I am extremely excited about my new album, The Appeal, which will be dropping at the end of the summer. Over the course of 2010, 1017 Brick Squad records will also be releasing albums from my artist Wacka Flocka Flame as well as my group Brick Squad, which features Wacka, OJ Da Juiceman and myself. In July, I will be heading out on a nationwide tour, hitting venues across the country and continuing the movement.
Finally, a lot of things happened while I was away. I'm back to address these things. The rap game is in need of substance right now, and I'm here for the streets, right on time. I can't wait to show the world why I feel that now that I'm free, ironically, I'm the most wanted man in Georgia. I'm hungry for success and ready to compete so may the competition begin. I set out five years ago to be the No. 1 rapper in hip-hop; today that journey continues with an even sharper focus. I challenge all artists to put out the best music they ever made this summer. I won't accept nothing less than victory but I still want worthy opponents. To everyone who was there for me, thanks for y'alls support. Holla."