Gucci Mane was out of prison for a little over a year when he took the stage with Fifth Harmony on Good Morning America this past June. A couple of months later, the self-proclaimed Trap God joined the girl group onstage once again, this time to accept an MTV Video Music Award. Stepping to the microphone, the living Atlanta legend was as honest as ever: he hadn’t prepared an acceptance speech and he’d never won an award before, but he was grateful. After years of battling drug addiction and their accompanying perils, Gucci Mane Laflare was simply happy to mark another entry into what’s been one of the rap game’s best post-prison comebacks this side of Tupac Shakur. Boy, has it been a ride.
Gucci’s been everywhere since popping out of prison in 2016, dropping three albums, two mixtapes and four EPs over the last year. Of course, his musical work ethic—one that also led him to jump on Rae Sremmurd’s multi-platinum single “Black Beatles”—was there long before he went to prison, but Guwop’s also traveled unexpected paths. Since returning to music as a free man, he’s collaborated with a pop group and dropped a New York Times best-selling autobiography. Showing up everywhere from the pop charts, to streaming services to book shelves, Gucci is now, for the fifth time in his career, gracing the cover of XXL Magazine—this one, for our special 20th anniversary edition.
“To me, [being on the cover is] an accomplishment,” Gucci says in the interview for his Fall 2017 cover story, written by XXL Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten. “It’s like winning a [MTV] VMA, or winning a BET Award or a Grammy. Just somebody acknowledging that you have a presence, that you have a relevancy in the game. That’s why the kids go so crazy about the Freshman cover every year because it just feels good to be appreciated.”
Gucci Mane is just one of the artists selected to appear on XXL’s 20 special edition covers. Like the East Atlanta rap veteran, these rappers have been documented by XXL through the extent of their careers and have always shown love to the brand that helped raise their profiles along the away. Gucci’s fellow cover stars are 50 Cent, the cover king with 15 total XXL covers and a career we’ve been documenting from the start; Diddy, the man who not only reinvented the remix but paved the way for rap moguls; Nicki Minaj, a queen in hip-hop building her own pinkprint in the game; Wiz Khalifa, the cool, calm and collected superstar; Cam’ron, Harlem’s swag connoisseur; Lil Uzi Vert; the face of hip-hop’s new generation; Migos, three rappers who helped redefine the culture; Snoop Dogg, the Doggfather of the game; Pusha T, a success story as a group member, solo artist and record executive; Future, a trendsetting trap god; T.I., rap’s gangsta and gentleman; Fabolous, a highly respected New York MC; Rae Sremmurd, the real crowd-pleasers; Birdman, a No. 1 stunna with a revered empire; Run The Jewels, partners in rhyme and reason; Yo Gotti, a testament to tenacity; Gucci Mane, the true comeback kid; Tech N9ne; an independent icon; E-40; hip-hop’s in-the-know uncle; and The Lox, a trinity representing for the streets.
Check out Gucci Mane’s full Fall 2017 cover story here, watch his interview video below and keep it locked to our exclusive 20th anniversary hub for more content coming in honor of XXL‘s 20th anniversary.
See All XXL Magazine 20th Anniversary Covers
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