Gucci Mane sat down with XXL's editor-in-chief, Vanessa Satten, to reflect on all that's gone down since his release from prison, including the best advice he gave his protégé, Young Thug, and how different his life has become since his release from prison.
"I always used to tell Thug, 'You signed to me, but at the end of the day, you the boss of Young Thug Entertainment," he explained regarding his view on business. "You Young Thug Records like I'm Gucci Records. I gotta manage me. If somebody tell me to be somewhere, I gotta make sure I'm there. Can't nobody make sure I'm there but me.' I used to always preach that to them."
Gucci went on to note that it takes more than talent to develop a really successful business and that it's important to make people want to work with you. "Don’t think just because somebody may be the financier right now, things change. You might be on a way bigger level than me or whoever behind you, but you got to handle yourself like you a business, like you a brand, so that everybody that meet you be like, 'I want to do business with this guy. He talented, but at the same time, he understand what’s going on.'"
The conversation quickly turned to Gucci's thoughts on how music changed while he was away and the rapper had nothing but good things to say about the rising talent. He explicitly expresses his desire to always work with the new talent so that he can adapt to the changing sounds of what's hot in the club. "So many people I feel like they fall off because they just, they turn their nose up to what changes."
Instead, Gucci wants to remain open to the new talent around him. "There’s a different sound to some of the stuff that’s going on. I’m forcing myself to like it because, it’s different. It’s not what I grew up listening to. It’s not the stuff I would generally play in my car, but if everybody else like it, who am I to say they’re stupid or that they’re wrong?…That’s how I'm thinking now, so when I see them, 'Hey, I like what you got going on' and I'm not being fake about it even if I’m not the biggest fan of their music or whatever."
The rapper's history with substances also came up, with Gucci admitting that he was "just toxic" during that time when he was using. "I really was just high as hell, out my mind. And I don't blame…I’m not using the drugs as an escape. It was me. I was in a bad place and I was just so high that I felt like in my mind at the time, like, maybe the only way I could feel good, maybe if I hurt somebody else. I was just that frustrated and that stressed out. I had like six open cases, so it was like, could nobody do right. Everybody was wrong. You know what I’m saying? Even if you was trying to help me, you ain’t do it quick enough. Your timing was off. You really don't care. You were being manipulative or you just doing it to get something outta me. I just seen things through a clouded lens, so the whole Twitter rant was an example of a person just self-destructing."
Life has been going a little differently for Gucci now who has since embraced a sober lifestyle and said he is collecting on the benefits of his new approach. "Once I embraced that, it just made me treat everything different. And I think that’s why I'm getting better results now 'cause my whole approach is just different."
Since his release, Gucci has been keeping more than busy since his early release from jail, recording an album in about six days, linking up with everyone from Kanye West to Travi$ Scott, inking a book deal, and scoring a starring role in Harmony Korine’s upcoming film all while gearing up for the release of his next album, Woptober. If Gucci has anymore business advice, we're open to hear it. You can watch his full sit down above.