It has been over a year since one of the most anticipated dates in 2016 occurred — that is, the release of Gucci Mane, aka Radric Davis, from prison. All over social media, fans of the rapper counted down the days until his freedom and waited patiently on his comeback. Well, in the words of Gucci Mane himself, “Gucci’s back, b***h!” Over the year, we’ve seen the artist on a serious glow-up, from publishing an autobiography to putting out dope new music to finally marrying the love of his life and, lastly, his latest venture, diving into the fashion world. Lucky for me, I was able to catch up with The Wop himself in his new element, as a designer.
The slash title is not new to musicians of today. We've seen it happen for everyone from The Weeknd to Rihanna. And now, Gucci will be adding brand partnerships to his resume since he recently collaborated with Reebok as the face of their new, iconic Workout Plus sneaker campaign. While it dose seem like an unlikely pairing, I got to find out just how the two came together when I met Guwop last week.
Chillin’ on a comfy couch planted in the middle of a Reebok store in New York City, Gucci explained to me that him and Reebok are the "perfect combination." They both represent similar things like "being an individual, being a legend, [and] being iconic. Being an enigma but at the same time being classic, that’s my [Gucci Mane] style. I keep coming up with a new shoe [as a metaphor], a new CD, to keep people intrigued.” Talk about being schooled. It made perfect sense. Gucci, like Reebok, represents culture. In the South, his rap aesthetic and voice are one of a kind, iconic to Southern rap culture. But, he’s also a chameleon, adapting but staying true to his identity and maintaining his loyalty with day one fans.
I couldn’t help but notice the rapper’s ensemble during our chat. I was practically blinded by the bling. Wearing layered diamond chains over his Reebok hoodie and black pants, the single word that any Gucci lover would know came to mind, “Brrrrrr!” I mean, when is this man not icy AF?? Which brought me to my next question for the Wopster: What comes along with a glow-up other than a killer wardrobe? We’ve spotted the “So Icy” artist not only decked out in diamonds, but $30K designer jackets too. He told me, “Most of the time I shop for myself. But at the same time, I can’t go and get the stuff that I want when I’m traveling. So, I just reach out to a team of different people and ask them to send me some ideas. They send me pictures, basically they’re shopping for me but I choose [ultimately].”
As our time together continued, the growing line of fans waiting to see and meet Gucci grew, wrapping around the building of the Reebok store. After all, the first 50 people to buy the new Workout Plus kicks would be lucky enough to receive an autographed copy of his newly released book, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Pure gold to a die-hard fan. Knowing that people were so eager to have this experience and get their hands on a copy of his life story, I asked Gucci what he thought would be the most pertinent piece of info fans would get from his book. In the the most passionate answer he provided throughout our convo, he said, “I read a lot of autobiographies when I was away. And when I wrote mine, it was important for me to make sure people knew about my grandfather, my grandmother, my great grandfather and that they knew about 1017 and Alabama because everybody just know Atlanta. I wanted them to know we were descendants of slaves and Indians and what areas I was from because all of that makes me unique. That determines how I look, how I talk and how I think. I just wanted them to know all the things that make me [Gucci Mane] yeah, because it’s a lot to it.” He later hinted at writing another book with all the letters he received during his time in jail.
Seconds later, our chat came to an end. I thanked him for giving me a glimpse inside Gucci’s world and walked away with a new level of respect for the Wopster. For those that weren’t lucky enough to be in NYC for his Reebok event, it's OK. Just cop a pair of the Reebok Workout Plus sneakers and Gucci’s autobiography. It’s not the same, but you’ll feel that much closer to Gucci Mane La Flare.
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