Monday, October 15th, 2012

Gucci Mane, "The Truth"

Sigh (and a queasy sort of "yay!"): Here we go again. Another one of the best rap songs of the year is a threatening "beef record." Seven years ago, a pair of Atlanta drug dealer/rappers named Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy recorded a song together called "Icy." It was a big hit, but then the two had a falling out over credit. Jeezy recorded a diss record called "Stay Strapped," putting a $10,000 bounty on Gucci's "So Icy" chain. Soon thereafter, four armed men burst into the apartment of a woman Gucci was visiting. Gucci shot and killed one of them and was arrested on murder charges, which the D.A.'s office eventually dropped because Gucci was acting in self-defense. Three years ago, a mutual friend to both rappers, DJ Drama, engineered a burying of the hatchet. But, as will happen, tensions have again flared. And Gucci Mane has recorded a chilling, thrilling song about it.

2 Comments / Post A Comment

petejayhawk (#1,249)

White people getting excited about incitement to violence! How adorable/ironic/etc. So close to danger without any of the messy side effects!

Dave Bry (#422)

Well, Pete, it's not the incitement to violence that I enjoy. (Though your use of the word of the "excited" muddles things: I mean, violence is exciting. I think pretty much indisputably, right? It's terrible and I wish it did not exist. But if you've ever been anywhere near it, or had it enacted on you, it's very difficult to say that it's boring, right? But that's semantics, I guess.) It's the music and the rapping that I like, subject matter aside. It's a bummer that anger and violent impulses so often go hand and hand with great rap music. But it's the case. I really very strongly oppose violence. But I can't help liking this song. Because it's good. Same with Pusha T's "Exodus 23:1" and Waka Flocka Flame's "Luv Dem Gun Sounds." I've written a bunch of stuff about this very topic before. Stuff that I would have hoped would have gotten into the complexities and difficulties of the subject in a way that might have staved off such a knee-jerk accusation of something as ugly as… I don't even know what you'd call it—something like watching gladiators fight? Exploitation, maybe? Or the basest kind of cultural tourism? What would you call the phenomenon you describe as "adorable/ironic"? Because it is actually something quite damning, right? I linked to the last piece I wrote about this in the post above. But maybe you didn't read it, I don't know. Are you saying that it's only okay for black people to like rap music that deals with violence, because they get to experience "the messy side effects" more often? Or are you saying that it's not okay that anyone enjoys it? That would be the argument that I could most easily see—and one I'd be happy to discuss, it might even be interesting. I don't mean to say this stuff is simple, or without its problems. But I think your comment as it stands, with it's implication of cavalier racial fucked-up-ness, is quick and cheap and not well enough informed.

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