- 1017 Brick Squad
By Ken Selander, Daily Arts Writer
Published October 25, 2013
Recently, Miley Cyrus has been gracing the pages of nearly every magazine and online news source. It’s not because of the so-called “music” she’s putting out — like the so-stoned-I’m-tone-deaf sound of “We Can’t Stop” — but primarily for her seemingly slow, painful, downward spiral in which she has transformed from sweet and corny Hannah Montana into the druggy, slutty and forced façade dubbed “Miley.” The popularity of this one-time face-of-Disney over the last six months has overshadowed the sparsely covered long-term events that portray a decaying and endangered Gucci Mane.
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The beginning of the end for Gucci can be traced back to his disagreement with Young Jeezy over the rights to their hit track “Icy” in 2005. Gucci Mane published the song on his album Trap House without informing Jeezy, who believed he was entitled to royalties that he supposedly never received.
Later that year an attempt was made to rob Gucci at night. In true gangster form, Gucci whipped out a pistol and shot one of the assailants, who turned out to be an associate of Jeezy’s. Gucci Mane claimed to have acted in self-defense and was acquitted of the murder charges when he was put on trial.
Nowadays, it’s no secret that Gucci is nearly in constant conflict with other rap artists. The popularity of social media sites like Twitter has provided a platform for Gucci Mane to publicly call out other rappers in front of his nearly two million followers and anyone else wishing to view his public account.
Comically enough, Gucci’s most recent mixtape, Diary of a Trap God, even features Tyga and Waka Flocka Flame, artists with whom he is currently beefing but wasn’t during the production of the mixtape. This just goes to show that Gucci does not have the most level head, perhaps a result of the triple scoop ice cream cone on his face. Or maybe it’s the drugs. One or the other.
Last spring, Gucci dropped Waka Flocka Flame from his label which has proved to be another milestone of his own decline. Gucci has been quarreling with Waka ever since, calling him out on Twitter as “disloyal” among other adjectives. The circumstances of their falling out are not entirely clear, but whatever the disagreement it has certainly caused a great schism that is unlikely to be fixed.
Despite his volatile tendencies, Gucci’s anger with Waka is certainly not unfounded. Loyalty is considered a virtue among rap artists and gang members, so the fact that Gucci and Waka are both rappers and have been linked to gang activity only reinforces this value twofold. In the background of many of Gucci’s early music videos and freestyles, a young, skin-and-bones Waka can be seen chilling in the back behind Gucci, basically fitting the physical embodiment of whatever the hell “the struggle” actually means. Today, Waka can be seen decked out in bling while throwing bands at strippers in music videos with a much more confident and healthy physical appearance. It’s clear that his quick rise from rags-to-riches is largely thanks to the pseudo-apprenticeship he entered with Gucci in 2009 when he signed onto the Brick Squad 1017 label. For this, Gucci feels Waka should be loyal.
On Sept. 9, Gucci lashed out at a wide range of rappers and industry personnel — such as Tyga, Yo Gotti, Drake, Nicki Minaj — out of nowhere. Since then Gucci has deleted the tweets, but the damage has been done. While this might have been just a way to gain attention and hype for his newest mixtape released two days later, it looks like it is actually just another sign of his deterioration.
As a result of all the beefs he has gotten himself involved in, Gucci has fewer artists with less talent to feature on his tracks.