cover image The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

The Autobiography of Gucci Mane

Gucci Mane, with Neil Martinez-Belkin. Simon & Schuster/37 Ink, $27 (270p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6532-0

East Atlanta hip-hop innovator Gucci Mane (n%C3%A9 Radric Delantic Davis) delivers a tell-all of his checkered childhood and career. Born in rural Alabama to a drug%E2%80%93addicted hustler father and single mother, Gucci Mane began selling drugs by the seventh grade and rapping by age 14. Over the next two decades, he cycled through jail%E2%80%94including a three-year stint in federal prison%E2%80%94and rehabilitation facilities after numerous drug- and firearm-related offenses, and still released eight studio albums and dozens of mixtapes, formed his own record label, and worked with some of rap's top names. All the while, he groomed Atlanta's up-and-coming artists, as well as polishing his own free-associating lyrical style at "a pace that few could match." Gucci Mane is unflinching in his recounting of his life's lowest moments and refreshingly blunt about his relationships with rival Young Jeezy ("The vibe was fucked.... It was no longer a business situation to sort out. It had become personal") and erstwhile prot%C3%A9g%C3%A9 Waka Flocka Flame ("Waka and I had been having problems on and off for three years. But we'd been able to keep it between us"); however, he tends to get, as he would put it, "lost in the sauce" when naming friends and enemies or describing his time as a "studio rat." Yet the story he spins is riveting, filled with music-world intrigue and inner-city shootouts and buoyed by a self-awareness not marred by ego. (Sept.)