Gucci Mane is the premiere trap role model: he is successful, original, prolific, well-received, and hard-working. Consequently, his most recent incarceration created a kind of power vacuum in the Atlanta scene, a volatile state of affairs that helped foster the rise of every kind of newcomer, from the grittiest street style of 21 Savage to the nautical, joyous jingles of Lil Yachty.
But now, with Gucci free, one can’t help but wonder who will be next to earn big Guwop’s approval, which is arguably the most sought-after cosign in modern hip-hop (besides maybe Kanye West). Would Young Thug, Migos, or Mike Will Made It occupy the lofty positions that they do now without the help they received from Gucci Mane? Probably not.
Since his release from prison on May 26th of this year, Gucci has been hard at work creating his next studio album. In adddition to his recent collaborations with Kanye West and Young Thug, Gucci starred in a Harmony Korine-directed Supreme commercial and is reportedly working on a collaborative project with Drake. Though the tracklist for his newest studio album Everybody Looking (due out July 22nd) doesn’t feature any obscure names, it’s incredibly exciting to postulate about who Gucci will decide to put on his mixtapes next.
Historically, Guwop’s primary medium for new music has been the mixtape, which he has been known to drop with little or no warning, sometimes in thematically-linked groups of two or more. It is on these tapes where Gucci is his most original and forward-thinking, and his discography proves that his wellspring of creativity is far from drying up. For example, while Gucci was incarcerated from May of 2014 to May of 2016, he managed to release something like 25 unique mixtapes, reportedly earning more than $1.3 million from prison in 2014 alone.
This prolific output is nothing new for Guwop, who, since his debut with 2005’s Trap House, has released around 130 unique albums and mixtapes on Spotify. Take a stroll over to Gucci’s Spotify profile for an idea of this man’s work ethic; he has so much music that you could listen non-stop from today until the day Everybody Looking drops—that’s 24 hours a day, for over a week—and not repeat a song. And that’s just including the music Spotify has to offer—if unofficial mixtapes and certain collaborative projects are included, the total number of tracks would exceed 4,000. Truly mind blowing.
Across those 130 projects lie some of the most original and creative rap releases of the 21st century. Start at the beginning with Trap House for a sampling of the sounds that pioneered the trap genre—some other highlights along the way include The State vs. Radric Davis, The Movie, Trap God, and Glo17.
If you’ve been sleeping on Gucci Mane, figure out what all the hype is about now—when his new album drops, you’ll be glad you did your homework.