Gucci Mane


As one of the biggest talents of the mid-2000s hip-hop scene, Gucci Mane's woozy, syrupy style helped popularise 'trap' music and led a resurgence in Southern rap; but the Atlanta star had a tormented history of drugs, violence, mental health problems and also spent time in prison. Born Radric Davis, he grew up in East Atlanta and after discovering a natural talent for poetry, he began rapping at the age of 14. Cutting his teeth on the local underground scene, his collaborative track Icy with Young Jeezy brought him to wider attention in 2005 and his debut album Trap House captured his trademark mix of gangsta grit, dance floor synths and slowed-down, psychedelic beats. Just as things seemed to be taking off, a vicious dispute with Jeezy led to the shooting of a man who had broken into his house. Although a murder charge was eventually dropped, his lifestyle was embedded in a culture that involved heavy amounts of drink and drugs. Despite paranoia, chaos and regular stints in jail, his prolific work rate saw him release the acclaimed US top ten albums The State Vs Radric Davis and The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted. Things did come to a head though in 2013 when, while serving a three-year sentence, he finally gave up drink and drugs and took to improving his education. He even managed to release around 30 mix tapes while incarcerated and promoted young stars such as Waka Flocka Flame and Young Thug. Upon his release in 2016, his album Everybody Looking reached number two in the US charts and sparked the most successful period of his career.