The Autobiography of Gucci Mane
In 2018, I’m committed to reading more non-academic books. I started this quest with East Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane’s recently released autobiography, aptly titled The Autobiography of Gucci Mane (2017, Simon & Schuster).
First of all, let me begin by saying that I stopped being a fan of Gucci after he *allegedly* pushed that girl out of his car, violating his parole, and cancelling a show at the Memphis nightclub LEVEL II (when I was working there). I should pause here and bring you up to speed on what might seem like a random string of employment.
Although I am currently in graduate school pursuing, and thisclose to finishing, my PhD in sociology, prior to this, I worked at LEVEL II as a VIP hostess. That’s probably the most simplified and underselling explanation of my role, but for the purposes of this book review it will suffice.
If you know anything about hip hop, the South, or Memphis, then you will understand that having Gucci host and perform at a nightclub was a BIG deal. Like sell advance tickets all week and sell out all VIP booths big deal. Like purchase an outfit for the occasion, get your hair and nails done, call your friends, organize your week around this event big deal. So, you should also be able to figure out that having his appearance cancelled hours before the scheduled event would result in an equal and opposite reaction, especially when refunding folks money. It was one of the most memorable and terrible moments in my nightlife employment. To my surprise, this cancelled show is immortalized in the pages of Gucci’s autobiography (see pages 194-195).
But, in the spirit of “New Year, New You” I wanted to read The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. Plus, even though I’m not a fan of his, I am a fan of rap music, so I thought this book would perhaps offer a few insights into some memorable contemporary rap music, moments, and artists. And, I was right.
Gucci’s music dominated nightlife, so to hear about the behind the scenes to some of his songs like “So Icey,” “Lemonade,” and “Wasted” made me think about the music differently. And, as a Waka Flocka Flame fan, I loved hearing about the creation of “No Hands,” though I remember folks recollecting how it happened a little differently.
As much as the book is about a particular time in hip hop music and artist relationships that were made (and fell apart) during that time, it is also about one man’s journey of chasing dreams and self-discovery, the foundation of family, and the blurring of life and art. By the end, I felt like I had a better understanding not only of Gucci the artist but Gucci the person. Of course with any autobiography, the reader only gets one side of the story, but in this case, it is one entertaining tale. Gucci Mane closes this glimpse into his life by talking about the changes he’s made to better himself. He mentions reading, among others, James Allen, the author of As a Man Thinketh, so you know I’m now sold on the new Gucci Mane as James Allen is one of my absolute favorite authors.
BIGGEST TAKEAWAY FROM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF GUCCI MANE
I had two. The first one being the importance of the choices that we make for who we become and the opportunities that we have. The second being how the biggest sources of our support often come from the most unexpected people and the importance of seeking out opportunities to be that type of support to someone else.
PAIR IT WITH a bottle (or two) of Moët Nectar Impérial Rosé and tap into the rap star nightlife experience.
Purchase The Autobiography of Gucci Mane on Amazon