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Is Gucci Manes Success Vital for Justice Reform?

Story: Brandon Brant
Photo: Pigeons & Planes

The quality of Gucci Mane’s lyrics are often a topic of debate for Rap listeners, generally drawing heavy praise from Trap Music fans who are typically concentrated in the South.

Historically the Atlanta based rapper proved to be of little relevance to the music industry in its entirety, never winning any major music awards, or registering albums sales worth noting.

Gucci has shown potential to be a dominant entertainer, solidifying early record deals with Warner Brothers, even guess staring in a failed box office debut featuring Selena Gomez.

Consistent run ins with the law, fueled by youthfulness and drug addiction has forced Gucci’s fans to become accustomed to revering the self proclaimed “Trap God” in between extended periods of incarceration.

Despite his chronic absence, Gucci has been able to continue his momentum through the legacy he has built as being one of Trap Music’s most successful A&R’s, as well as, ensuring his fans access to their favorite Gucci Classics on most digital download and streaming sites. His recent release has been momentous to say the least.

Gucci and his team have done a phenomenal job capitalizing from the anticipation of his release, making headlines by selling out shows in the Fox Theatre, being featured on billboard hits in the company of rap dominants like Drake, and even making an effort to establish stability in his personal life through his recent proposal to long term girlfriend Keyshia Kaoir.

These recent accomplishments speak volumes to Gucci’s resilience, but the one that may have the biggest impact came in the form of a “Tiny Desk” performance. 

Gucci Manes debut on NPR’s “Tiny Desk’ performance highlights the artist’s growing appeal to a non traditional audience. More importantly it validates trap music as a cultural form of entertainment.

NPR, the National Public Radio system is a an affiliate of the Public Broadcast Systems. PBS broadcasting is federally funded and held to strict FCC guidelines as a non commercial educational network. NPR is legally obliged to only air cultural, educational, and entertaining content. In the midst of the decline of commercial broadcast radio, Gucci establishing a presence on a NCE network better solidifies Trap musics place in mainstream media, and starts the inclusion process for the genre and it’s artist. 

Some may argue that gangster rappers go mainstream every day in hopes to create more capital. This may be Gucci’s motivation. However the slippery slope of Gucci inclusion will prove to be a win for advocates of justice reform.

The new economic opportunity for a genre traditionally synonymous to an outlaw class as indicated in its title, “Trap Music”, aligns in a timely fashion with recent changes in policy for federal corrections. Irregardless of rumors of raps infiltration by the private for profit prison community, the new market opportunities will prove beneficial for developing a workforce in areas heavily affected by systemic racism, such the impoverished minority communities in the Deep South. 

American society must now plan to economically empower a class that has traditionally been projected to be incarcerated in a recidivist manner, and limited to black market economies. Gucci’s success and the success of predecessors should attract one of entertainments strongest purchasing class, young affluent white children, to the offspring economies fueled by Trap Culture.

These Markets such as clubs, clothing, food and beverage, and relating entertainment options will be a point for gainful employment and entrepreneurial endeavors which research suggest is vital for the resilience and assimilation into productive citizenship for the trap community, who are often young minority males who possess felony records. 

Gucci lyrics establishing his style as real Wright Street 7-4 music is finally coming into fruition as he relinquishes himself and his famed genre from the influence of private interest, and ushers those kindred to him from the confinement of Fulton County Jails into a phase of growth and development. Expect more paying it forward from the Guwop as he will be featured on tonight’s Jimmy Kimmel Live .