Last May, after serving a three-year stint for weapons and assault charges, platinum-hit rapper Gucci Mane left a federal prison 75 pounds lighter and with a newfound focus. In The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, published this month, the 37-year-old Atlanta trap rap crossover act—Mariah Carey has his number—revisits his rise to rap stardom; his struggle with a codeine cocktail called “lean;” and becoming a mentor to Future and Migos. “To start a new chapter you’ve got to turn the page on the last one,” he writes.
Early on Gucci lived in a motel.
After relocating to Georgia at the age of nine, Gucci and his family lived at an inn near East Atlanta. They later moved to an apartment, and Gucci says he started selling drugs to make money.
He started drinking lean before it landed on the local radar.
Gucci—born Radric Davis—started mixing codeine with soda in the late 2000s. By 2013 he had a nearly $1,000-a-day habit that slowed down his metabolism. Three weeks after giving it up, Gucci lost 25 pounds.
His father was nicknamed Gucci Mane.
Gucci’s grandfather fell in love with the luxury label during his military service in Italy. Gucci’s dad, Ralph Dudley, inherited his father’s fashion sense and love for slang. “Gucci Man” became “Gucci Mane” because of the family’s Alabama twang.
A music executive invented “Trap God.”
One of Gucci’s nicknames (and the title of his 2012 mixtape) was coined by Todd Moscowitz, a veteran music executive who had worked with Gucci throughout his major label career. He even suggested the artist legally change his name to Trap God. Gucci didn’t, though he still answers to it.
His fiancée was first his leading lady.
After discovering Keyshia Ka’oir modeling for XXL magazine, Gucci cast her in his “911 Emergency” video. He proposed to Ka’oir at an Atlanta Hawks game six years later.
This article originally appeared in our September 2017 issue.