A half-decade after leaving prison, the hip-hop icon has found peace at home, fostered new talent and cemented his legacy. “I’m definitely still a work in progress,” he says today. “I’m not perfect. I’m still evolving."
Gucci’s physical transformation ensured an incognito return. Thanks to his twice-a-day workouts — and the fact that he had kicked an addiction to lean while in prison — the rapper had lost 90 pounds, and washboard abs had replaced the East Atlanta Santa’s once protruding belly.
He had undergone a deep mental transformation, too — the “Lemonade” rapper embodying the idea of turning lemons into just that. While in prison he wrote The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, which was published in 2017, and came up with a five-year plan that would cement his status as one of the music industry’s most prolific rapper-executives from the moment of his release.
As live events slowly return, Gucci himself still plans to tour but has significantly slowed his musical output, opting to drop compilations and mixtapes dedicated to each of his signees instead of a slew of solo projects. Strategizing with Atlantic on rollouts and plans for his artists is what most excites him now. “Seeing them succeed, that’s what makes me feel more accomplished,” he says, his voice swelling with glee. “It’s something that I’ve always loved to do, but now I’m actually getting paid from it.”