Gucci Mane came home from a years-long prison stay back in May, and he appears to be a completely different Gucci, at least in a few key respects. Anyone who’s seen pictures of the healthy, slimmed-down, muscled-up Gucci already knows that he’s spent some time working out. But he’s also gotten healthy in another, more important way: He’s now kicked all drugs. My friend Jon Caramanica recently visited Gucci at his Atlanta home for The New York Times, getting Gucci’s first post-prison interview. And Gucci’s newfound sobriety — something that’s enforced by random drug tests right now, since he’s on house arrest until September — seems like it’s been a great thing for him.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Gucci’s insane workrate. Before going to prison, Gucci had a hard drive full of unreleased music, so he’d simply tell his engineer that he’d like to release a new mixtape, and his engineer would master all the songs necessary. Since many of those tapes were commercially available, Gucci actually made money while in prison. Gucci himself estimates that he earned more than a million dollars during his prison stint — more than enough to keep his lawyers paid.
And Gucci did something else new during his prison stay: He started writing lyrics. Where he’d always freestyle in the past, he began writing down lyrics, then mailing them to his girlfriend for safekeeping. Those lyrics make up a large chunk of Gucci’s new album Everybody Looking, which is due next week and which Gucci recorded within six days of his return home. He’d recorded his vocals for “First Day Out Tha Feds” within an hour of coming back to his house.
The whole piece is very much worth a read, and you can check it out here.