Atlanta Rap star Gucci Mane, born Radric Davis, recently released his autobiography. In collaboration with former XXL magazine editor Neil Martinez-Belkin, Gucci writes about his intriguing life from growing up in the South to becoming a worldwide star. Gucci, who is only 38, is considered one of the most influential artists of the current rap generation, helping start the careers of the Migos, Young Thug, and Waka Flocka Flame.
Going into the book, I didn’t know much about Gucci’s history besides the fact he started his career as a drug dealer. Part one of the book opens up a huge window into Gucci’s life. Gucci writes about how he started his life fatherless due to him having fled to Detroit for drug-related charges. This set the tone for Gucci’s entire life, which is littered with numerous drug-related charges which haunted him and almost turned him into his father before he saved himself.
Gucci goes on to grow up in Alabama, where his brother introduced him to hip-hop at the age of six by taking him to a Run DMC show. From there, Gucci moved to Atlanta with his mother. He lives there to this day, and it is the city that truly shaped Gucci into the prolific rapper he is known as today.
In eighth grade, Gucci tells a story about how he started selling drugs and eventually used his Christmas money to get into the crack cocaine business. This gives incredible insight into the life of poverty in East Atlanta. As the book goes on, Gucci dives deeper into his life by talking about becoming a major drug dealer. One of the most absorbing parts of the book is where he writes about the night he gets charged with murder. He still, to this day, can’t talk about the whole story to the public.
At the end of the book, Gucci is getting released from his last prison sentence in May 2016. At this time, he has finally gotten a grip on his own life. He fell in love with a model from one of his music video shoots, Keyshia Ka’oir, and ends up marrying her. Another way Gucci looked to turn his life around is by caring for his personal health, such as losing weight gained from drinking an extensive amount of cough syrup over the years.
It’s a happy ending to a life troubled with hardship for 100 percent of his time. Gucci’s last chapter reflects on his prison time.
“But Prison is a humbling experience. It was hell in there and over time that made me start to appreciate all my blessings on the outside,” he writes. This is a perfect quote to sum up the book. Gucci took all the hardship in his life and turned it into a fortune through his talented music skills, creating a better life for not only himself, but for any future generations of his family and fans that follow him.
Each part of the book is precisely placed in a way where no story is wasted and each serves a purpose to show how Gucci has grown as a man. It’s written perfectly, allowing any reader to feel like they’re experiencing the stories with Gucci. No matter if it is selling drugs, doing drugs, rapping, or even getting locked up for the first time, I had to remind myself I wasn’t reading a fictitious book. Instead, it’s the story of someone who had gone through many hardships and was able to pull themselves back on top. Overall, the book was perfect in my eyes. I don’t consider myself a book worm by any means, but I love the culture that surrounds hip-hop. I highly recommend this book to anyone because it’s more than just the story of hip-hop, it’s a look at the hardships of poverty in America.