I remember in 2005 sitting on my couch watching MTV Jams. About 80% of what played I did not like. However, I liked Lil Rob’s “Summer Nights” for whatever reason. I like it till this day. Perhaps the primary song I despised was Gucci Mane’s “So Icy.” I felt it was just too elementary for people to listen to, but I trucked on and waited for the next thing to show for the hundredth time, which was probably Lil Rob and AZ’s “The Come Up.” But what do you expect for a teenager whose primary goal in life was to collect every underground Bizzy Bone album?
Matter of fact, Bizzy dropped “Speaking in Tongues” the same year, following his “speaking in tongues” on KPFT-FM in Houston earlier in 2005.
Gucci Mane’s rise in 2005 was overshadowed with the reign of Young Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101.” Jeezy (and Boosie) was what you heard in my parts for quite some time, but we know Gucci Mane was constantly working as much as Jeezy.
Even with the critical acclaim he has received, more that what I thought, Gucci Mane’s legacy has been somewhat overlooked between Young Jeezy’s success and his legal troubles. I have never cared for Gucci, but I have to admit that he has done one thing that many Hip-Hop fans want their favorite artists to do, evolve.
The only other post I have found on Gucci’s evolution involves his belly that complex posted in 2012. In lieu of that, here are some songs that show Gucci’s evolution.
Gucci Mane – Chicken Talk (2006)
I could start with “So Icy,” but that’s obvious. I decided to look at Gucci’s “Chicken Talk,” the follow-up to “Trap House.” This is not that bad of a song. It can be seen as a southern version of Big L’s “Ebonics.” However, Gucci Mane was still finding his voice. He doesn’t have the mic presence he develops three years later.
Lyrical Highlight – “Gucci throwing bricks like he using a backboard.”
Gucci Mane – “Atrium” Freestyle (2008)
I remember when the Almighty A.R. introduced me to this clip around 2009 or 2010. And till this day it has been one of the primary subjects we go back to while YouTubing. This freestyle is funny to me all the way around, but Gucci has a presence. He’s hiding behind the beat in “Chicken Talk,” while he is in front of this one. Lyrically it’s not good. Remember this is around the time of his “Back to the Trap House,” which has “Freaky Gurl (Remix).”
Note: You can notice the enlargement of his belly as he begins to gain confidence.
Lyrical Highlight – “I was going to the Atrium like a gymnasium”
Gucci Mane – Shook One’s Freestyle (2009?)
I am pretty sure that the year for this video is wrong. Gucci Mane is repping Atlantic and Asylum, the labels “Back to the Trap House” was released on, in partnership with So Icy Entertainment. Nonetheless, Gucci is much more comfortable behind the mic to the point that he’s rapping faster. It is around this period in his career, where he begins to take rap seriously. After his freestyle, Gucci rants:
“…I held that down a lil bit…New York Beat, Down South Beat, it don’t matter…I make music man, voice box of the community, street reporter to the hood.”
Lyrical Highlight – “So Icy Entertainment teamed up with Atlantic, Gucci Mane La Flare, I be trappin’ in Spanish.”
Gucci Mane – Classical (2009)
By this time I was pretty sick of Gucci. Damn near every mixtape I heard too many times up to the release of “The State vs Radric Davis.” Once again, the Almighty A.R. insisted that I listen to this track and I was surprised. This song is a culmination of the previous freestyles mentioned. Gucci has presence and fast bars. He even has opera singers. Gucci was fresh out of jail with rhymes that he took time with.
Lyrical Highlight –
“Thumb print me, finger print me
But can we agree to disagree
Im from east Atlanta 6 where the boys dump bricks
But we don’t bump the blueprint 3
Wanna box me just like Max B
But you can’t fuck me like Raz-B
Like Ali I’mma float like a butterfly sting like a bee cuz its big Gucci, Gucci”
Overall, it seems Gucci gets better after some “down time.” The flurries of mixtapes that have been recently released aren’t all that bad. Maybe he’ll come back even better once he’s unleashed again.