Unlike some of us, 2016 was a pretty incredible year for trap rap elder statesman Gucci Mane.
He was granted an early release from prison, scored Billboard-topping recognition with his long-awaited musical return, got engaged to longtime girlfriend Keyshia Ka’oir, employed a new and improved healthy lifestyle and closed out the year on a high note with the highly-anticipated Return of East Atlanta Santa. So after his Highly Questionable segment on ESPN, it’s nearly impossible to believe that Mr. Zone 6 once struggled with a dark drug addiction that he believes might have killed him.
During the interview, Gucci answered a series of questions related to his former party-hard lifestyle and notes that a collection of self-help books assisted his recovery. Namely, James Allen’s 1903 book As a Man Thinketh, which addressed the power of thinking in rediscovering and transforming life’s challenges, was among Gucci’s top picks.
"I'm proud of what I did,” he said. “I'm proud that I'm still here. I'm proud that I got past all of it.”
Gucci also spoke about some of the most pressing dangers of his pre-prison career, where he admits that he often experienced paranoia as a result of karmic thoughts.
“When you’ve been doing wrong so long and you’ve done wrong by other people, you never know when it’s going to come back on you,” he said. “I hurt so many people and so many people had hurt me. I never knew when it was going to come and it was like I was always preparing for the day that bullets would start coming and ringing out.”
The “Lemonade” rapper also explained that he believed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and had “dried out” from drinking lean while incarcerated. During this period, he experienced death-like withdrawal symptoms, a topic he explained in his debut New York Times feature. At almost 290 pounds, he said, he realized in prison how unhealthy he was and developed an exercise routine as well. After admitting that there was even a time where he thought he couldn’t live without his dependency on the substance, he added that he was “100 percent” surprised that the addiction didn’t lead to an early grave.
“I’m blessed, man. To even be here today, I'm blessed," he concluded.
Check out Gucci Mane's revelations in the video below.
(Photo: Prince Williams/WireImage)