Interview by Greg “Gate$” Davenport
From Murder Dog Vol. 12 #2
Let’s get right into it. What’s up with the controversy with you and Young Jeezy? Why are ya’ll having problems right now?
It all stems from the fact that he wanted to use my song “Icy,” that I wrote. He wanted to put it on his album “Let’s Get It.” I told him he couldn’t do it, so he took to that and want to beef with me. He want to use the song that I wrote to sell records – I’m not going to let him do it. I guess he feel like he can take some low blows at me, but it’s not going to work.
I dig that. Go in to detail about the whole situation. You said you paid for the song...
See, the producer of the song is my producer, Zaytovin. He produced like six or seven new songs on my album. I’ve been working with him since I was like 17. He came with the track, “Icy,” and I wrote the hook. I met with Young Jeezy, I seen him at Walter’s…He had heard an underground tape I had released a long time ago. He was like, “I love your music. Man, I love your style – how you be talking about this and that.” He gave me a mixtape of his, “Gangsta Grillz: The Streets Iz Watching.” I listened to the songs. I was like, “Damn, he kind of talking about what I talked about on my underground album.” He already told me to come to the studio, meet him at Patchwerk, he want to do a song with me. Me, being prepared, I brought the beat with me. I brought the beat that Zay made and the song “Icy” with me. I said, “Man, let’s do this song right here. You can get on it with me.” He heard the song, he want to get on it. Next thing you know, he’s parading around the city doing shows off the song like it’s his song. I been had a problem with him, I’m upset. I addressed it to him, asked him why he doing that? He said he’s breaking the song like he a DJ. I don’t need you to break that dog. Jeezy, he just jealous. He can’t make a hit, dog. He tried to get on Fabolous’ junk. He trying to get on everybody’s shit he can, trying to get hot. The nigga can’t make a hit. I’m talking straight up, if you give this nigga a Louisville Slugger, that nigga wouldn’t make a hit.
So what was it? You said it was a financial thing?
Straight up, the nigga told me he was doing everything for free, then he came back and asked me to give him $20,000 to get in the video. He always told me from jump he straight on money, he got a deal, he don’t need no money. That’s how he came to me, “Man, I don’t need no money. I’m doing this for love. Whoopty woop, let’s swap a song out.” Some shit like that. I’m thinking that’s how we gonna kick it. Next thing I know this nigga asking for money every day. This nigga ain’t got no damn money. Nigga’s running around here leasing cars and shit, wearing other niggas jewelry man. He ain’t got no damn money.
Are you for real?
I be seeing the nigga in the club, niggas be giving this nigga money to throw up. I done peeped the nigga man. Nigga riding around with an old ass Ferrari like he bought it from the junk yard.
What are you saying about Young Jeezy, that this is a persona?
This nigga is from Hawkinsville, Georgia, dog! It’s like 45 minutes from Macon, Georgia. It’s a little country town. They sell watermelons and onions and shit. Peanuts and shit! The nigga a peanut farmer really dog – rapping about work. He came up here…he seen a lot of little shit, he flipped his whole style. He had his first album, “Come Shop with Me,” the nigga tried to sound just like Trick Daddy. Straight up. New album, nigga got a couple adlibs talking about double work. That nigga ain’t move nothing. The same is like working with a 2-way, an O(unce). Now, he talking about he talking about he got bricks. Damn, I don’t understand this shit with these niggas man. These niggas fake as hell. Then you try to assassinate my character, talking some stay strapped. Dog, I been strapped. Dog, you know I really do everything I say. You can check my background. Niggas know I run the east side of Atlanta. The nigga fake as hell man. Nigga claim he from 4th Ward Boulevard, nigga know good and well he from muthafuckin’ Hawkinsville dog. Know he from Hawkinsville! Just say you from Hawkinsville. I don’t come around and say, “Hey, I’m from Atlanta whoopty whoop.” This what I say, “I represent Atlanta.” I was born in Birmingham. Check my bio, I tell everybody, “That’s what makes me different, me, being from Birmingham and being raised in Atlanta.” I been up here since I was 8-years-old, dog. All my slang comes from Atlanta, you feel me? My upbringing, the way I see shit comes from the east side of Atlanta, but my diction and the way I pronounce words, it comes from Birmingham. When I blend that in with the city shit it’s like best of both worlds in a rapper. Everybody dig me. Man, I go to these country towns, I know how to kick it with them, they can accept me. It’s whatever because I’m not on no Hollywood shit trying to be a celebrity, you feel me? I’m just a real nigga trying to get on. Nigga, by any means necessary. If it takes for me to verbally assassinate this nigga in order for my peoples to eat – this nigga’s ass is breakfast dog. Straight up. He ain’t nothing.
I heard the diss track by Young Jeezy and the shit was real heavy. Where is all this coming from?
Man, this nigga here is just making up shit on me, straight up. It’s like…this nigga did this and this nigga did that and people laughing. It’s like shit, if you bring Dave Chapelle in this muthafucka he’ll make you laugh about me. You feel me? That’s what he’s doing. Straight up, he’s like that Eddie Murphy-type nigga, Martin Lawerence-ass nigga. Might as well put the nigga on Def Comedy Jam. For real. That’s how I feel about the shit.
That was all negative shit and I don’t like to see Black people beefin’. Matter of fact, let me ask you this question before I go on: Is this some type of gimmick to sell some fucking records?
Man, fuck Young Jeezy. I don’t fuck with him.
I heard the bootleg, I’m not gonna lie to you, I heard the bootleg already of the album.
The bootleg of my album? That’s some bullshit. I don’t like that.
I heard the bootleg, I ain’t even gonna lie.
That’s some fucked up shit dog.
The album is on some street shit. Where did you get your style from?
Like I say, I’m from Birmingham, dog. I was raised over that way until I was about 9-years-old. I moved to Atlanta and the shit is so fast, I adapt so quick. I’m going to school up here on the east side of town. I blend all the shit I see up here with the way I talk and people just dig the shit. That’s my style and back, just that quick. It’s just like a country boy and a city boy all blended into one. That’s me – Gucci Mane, that’s where I get the shit from.
How did you hook up with Big Cat Records? Weren’t you with Sign Youself Click?
Sign Yourself Click was like a group of guys who just hung together. We really ain’t really was established as a label or no shit like that. We ain’t have no office, no studio, because really, I was going to our producer Zaytovin’s house, working with him and then coming back and like, “Yeah, this our shit man. We a label now. We a group. We gonna get a deal.” But, the shit ain’t that easy dog. After pouring all the ideas out and letting another nigga take the credit – I was tired of that shit. I was like, “Hey, I need to have my own label.” I came with my own label, LaFlare Entertainment, then I went shopping for a deal, a distribution deal for my hit song “Icy” and I was working on my album. I flew to New York, I met with a couple of labels, they wasn’t really talking about nothing that I was hearing. I came back. I met with this dude named Jacob Yor and he introduced me to Big Cat and we just took off from there.
You made “Black Tee” and then you came out with “Icy,” you’re banging out hits. How did you build this buzz up in Atlanta?
I pride myself on being a good songwriter, straight up. I been writing poetry and shit since I was young. I pride myself in just knowing how to make words rhyme together. I’m real good at rappin’. That’s something I always had a knack for doing. I ain’t just start saying, “I’m fixing to do this rap shit. I’m a kingping in the street so now I’m fixing to start rappin’.” I ain’t gonna sit there and flex like that. I graduated from high school. I always been a smart dude. I always had one foot in the street, because I always did my thang. But, I always knew how to rap ever since I was coming up. When I finally got the money to present a visual and start recording music I was like, “Shit, I’mma use my daddy’s name,” which was Gucci Mane. That’s always been my nickname. I’mma use my daddy’s name and I’mma put the shit out here. I’mma go hard at it. I just try to make a real crafty song to come out with a little shit behind and everybody started feeling it.
How has your lifestyle and your life influenced your music? A lot of that shit you’re talking about on the album is really on some street, gutter, grimey, hustler-ass shit? Is this a true reflection of who Gucci Mane is?
That’s always me dog. You ask anybody on the east side of town about me they’ll tell you, “Gucci Mane do this and do everythang he say in them songs.” You ask anybody in the hood, around Atlanta, they’ll tell you, about my reputation. I ain’t got to say, “I’m from Atlanta,” but I put my foot down in Atlanta. My balls here. I don’t take no shit from no nigga in Atlanta. Everybody who know me, you can ask them cats. It’s like when I came to this label, Cat told me, “Dog, I’mma sign you. We’ll do the joint venture, but I heard you was robbin’. I heard you actually rob people…” I told Cat, “I have done that dog. People know me for that.” This what I used to do – A lot of people was hella hustlers. I was really like a hustler/stick-up boy/by any means necessary I did that shit. A lot of shit niggas be talking about they have done inside them streets I done really did them. I done been fucked up in the pocket. Ain’t no nigga been behind me, fronting me shit. I been taking shit from niggas, making shit happen on the block, on the corner. I been all the way out there, straight up. I’m like one of the wildest niggas in Atlanta. Niggas I used to hang with in east Atlanta, the dirtiest niggas in east Atlanta. Them the niggas that when you see them you go the other way. You tuck your chain in because they might take the shit. Young Jeezy know this. That’s why the nigga in fear. It’s like he’s making moves to try to put himself out there like, “Damn, this nigga exposing him.” Trying to beat me to the punch.
What’s up next for LaFlare/Big Cat?
I open up for Game and Snoop Dogg in Dallas on the 15th and then I go on Rap City on the 16th. My album drops on the 24th. You know, it’s going to be big thangs for me dog. It’s like, I’m just trying to stay focused dog, stay levelheaded dog. Shit, I done came a long way. I came a long ways now. I’m really proud of myself. I could’ve folded up a long time ago. People said I wasn’t gonna make it dog. Straight up. Everybody doubted me. Everybody. The whole hood say, “That nigga ain’t gonna be shit. That knucklehead-ass nigga.” That’s what everybody think in the city. “Gucci a hothead.” Ya feel me? This my world man. This hotheaded nigga here will say anything at anytime. That’s right, fuck them man. I just say how I feel. I’m not fixing to write a whole bunch of songs for nobody man. My momma ain’t raise me like that. People say I’m a little wild. One thang they ain’t gonna say is I’m no ho-type ass nigga. I ain’t fixing to let no nigga try me. I ain’t fixing to let no nigga disrespect me. I ain’t fixing to let nobody disrespect Big Cat or LaFlare Entertainment. We represent the city dog. We the real niggas who hold this shit down.