Artist: Gucci Mane
Representing: The Eastside of Atlanta
Mixtape: Writing on Da Wall
411: He has his face on almost as many mixtape covers as Lil Wayne and the streets have been shouting his name for a while — Gucci Mane is home and he doesn't want to stop working.
"I was very excited about the new popularity I had," Gucci said about the fresh batch of fans he gained during the past seven months he spent in jail. "I got a bigger audience to dig my new stuff. I'm always making music, so to do it in front of bigger audience so more people can tune in ... I got more listeners now."
While he was incarcerated, Gucci's camp and friends launched a campaign to help keep his name in people's ears. He had over an album's worth of material circulating through the underground, including tracks he recorded for himself or guest appearances on other artists' songs. He wasted no time in getting back out there after he was released from the big house.
"My new mixtape is called Writing on Da Wall," he explained in Atlanta recently. "I started working on it when I got out of jail. ... I put some of the best verses I think I ever wrote on it. I'm gearing them up for my album ... I just went hard in on 'em. Me and DJ Holiday came up with a concept and put a lot of lifetime experiences on them songs."
"Gucci is one of the best artists I've ever worked with because he has a creative mind," Holiday said. "He paints a picture."
The Gucc and Holiday hooked up last year for the E.A. Sports mixtape which spawned the shameless hood hit "Bricks." Holiday later helmed the remix of the record.
"You gotta respect the grind of n---as," singer Sean Garrett said. "Gucci came up, he's been grinding. DJ Holiday's been grinding. I seen a lot of these cats three, four years ago. Same with me, I've just been working since I got back to Atlanta."
Joints to Check For
» "First Day Out." "It's a banger, man," Gucci said. "It might be the intro to the mixtape. It's stupid crazy for 12, 16 bars, man — just a gangsta intro for Writing on Da Wall to start the pace off right."
» "Heavy Trafficking." "That was another banger right there," Gucc explained. "My boy Zaytoven produced it. No hook, just raw stuff — raw music, gangsta rap at its best."
» "Going In." " 'Going In' was three verses and a hook," Mane said. "It's an original song, original track for the mixtape. Fat Boy on the beat. On this mixtape, you're hearing what's going on my life, what's going on in the streets of Atlanta, what's going on in the world."
Don't Sleep: Other Notable Selections This Week
» Backwoods Fam - self-titled
» DJ Good Money - Fresh Out the Bakery
» Big Mike & Styles P - Phantom Empire
» Evil Empire - Interstate Trafficking 7.0
» DJ 31 Degreez & Young Buck - Still Ten-A-Key 2
» Evil Empire Presents Rick Ross - Maybach Season
'Hood's Heavy Rotation: Bubbling Below The Radar
» Shawty Lo (featuring Mya) - "About My B.I."
» Q-Tip (featuring Kanye West and Consequence) - "We Fight, We Love" remix
» UGK - "The Pimp and the Bun" and "Steal Your Mind"
» Cassie (featuring Akon) - "Let's Get Crazy"
» Pleasure P (featuring Ghostface) - "Boyfriend Number 2" remix
» Ludacris and Shawnna - "Drunk As F---"
The Streets Is Talking: News & Notes From The Underground
A 50 Cent mixtape is coming, according to DJ Whoo Kid. Apparently Fif is in Las Vegas now working with Dre on Before I Self Destruct, and somewhere along the way, he's going to put aside material for a street CD.
"I heard they locked it down this weekend," Whoo Kid said. "[The album] is still in the oven. It's so many records, so it's kind of hard to choose which one to really showcase immediately out there. But as he's doing his "Pimpin' Curly," annihilating Rick Ross, he's working on a mixtape and getting it cracking out there. Same with Banks. Banks killed iTunes with his freestyle, so we're trying to figure out how the next couple of weeks are going to work out. But mixtapes are in the works. You know mixtapes are in the works. [Banks] don't play when it comes to freestyles."
Whoo Kid said the entire G-Unit are in "hungry dog" mode.
"Rabid on the equipment," the DJ said. "You don't wanna go over there, it's vicious. You see how bad it gets with 50 when it come to revenge and beef — I'm scared to go over there."
Speaking of scared, Eminem's camp is wary of Whoo Kid getting anywhere near the new Slim Shady record "We Made You." The Queens native laughed that they are afraid of him leaking the track.
"They're stressing me not to come to the studio so I don't Bluetooth their computers," Whoo Kid laughed. "They're mixing it down in Vegas. It might be today, tomorrow — but it's definitely gonna come out." ...
Only for the fans of lyrics — Keith Murray and Canibus are recording an independent rap album together, with Erick Sermon supplying the beats.
"What happened was, I think Keith Murray and Canibus were doing shows [and came up with the idea]," Sermon explained. "They've been doing shows for the last six months back and forth. I guess somebody stepped to them about putting something together. They called me to do the album. I think they're two songs deep so far, but it's kinda ill to hear them. Keith Murray is out-there, lyrically, and now Canibus is a step way further out-there than he is. It's a dope mixture."
Sermon promised that there will be no commercialism on the album — the duo aren't going for airplay, they just want to capture the underground audience.
"It's only for heads," E said. "I don't think there's gonna be one radio record on there, just rhymes and concepts."
Expect the concepts to get really weird — Canibus has made records where he raps from the perspective of the AIDS virus, while Murr can go interplanetary like he did on "Escape From the World." Sermon says the two are definitely going for the jugular.
"The whole thing that made EPMD dope, that's what made Redman and Method Man dope — you kinda battle each other in between. You get busy. We do a track together and I'm like, 'Damn, he said something!' You go right. ... If Canibus says something, Murray gonna try to [say something better]. But it's friendly so far. What I've experienced so far has been really, really crazy."
For other artists featured in Mixtape Monday, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.