Atlanta rap star talks 'Trap God' mixtape, the state of Brick Squad and 'the bumps and the bruises' of his career.
On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Gucci Mane will unveil "Trap God," his third mixtape of the year following "Trap Back" and "I'm Up." By the end of 2012, the prolific Atlanta MC will have released a whopping 60 tracks -- but Mane tells Billboard that 2013 will be an even bigger year.
"My goal is to drop 10 projects in 2013," says the rapper. "All albums. I gotta do it. I know the 10 projects I want to drop." Of that output, Mane says that "maybe 30, 40 percent" of what we wants to release next year is complete. "I got a lot of work to do," he admits. "We collectively have a lot of work to do, but we're ready to work.
Although "Trap God" caps off a busy mixtape calendar for Gucci Mane, the rapper's label, 1017 Brick Squad Records, has had a relatively quiet year as far as full-length output. Waka Flocka Flame's sophomore album, "Triple F Life: Fans, Friends & Family," debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 last June but has sold an underwhelming 90,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Meanwhile, Mane chose to forego the release of a follow-up to 2010's "The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted," while Brick Squad upstarts like Young Scooter continue to craft their proper introductions.
"I feel like this was a rebuilding year for me, and my whole record label," says Mane, who released two collaborative albums, "Ferrari Boyz" with Waka Flocka and "BAYTL" with V-Nasty, in 2011. "Waka dropped a great album, but at the same time, I feel like it didn't get the push it deserved. So I said, 'This is the year I'm gonna power myself up and build my war chest, and regroup for next year.'"
Within that war chest is "Trap God," a 20-song epic that features production from Shawty Redd, Mike WiLL Made It, T-Pain and Drumma Boy, among others. Some of the highlights include the fittingly unhinged "Crazy," with Waka Flocka Flame; the pop-leaning "That's That," featuring Kevin McCall (of whom Mane remarks, "I like him. I wish I could have signed him"); the Boss meet-up "Head Shots," with Rick Ross; and the Meek Mill-assisted "Get Money," on which Gucci cries, "I'm in the trap house in my long johns!"
"I was just inspired to go back to the hood. I wanted to make a mixtape that really connected with my core fans," says Mane, who recorded "Trap God" in Miami, California and in his hometown of Atlanta. And after spending the past two years making headlines for non-musical activity -- like getting an ice cream cone tattooed on his face, or for going to jail on battery charges -- the rapper says that he's focused on super-serving his fans while staying out of trouble.
"I'm satisfied and proud of the things I did -- even the bumps and the bruises that I've had on the way," Mane says. "You fall down, you get up, you brush yourself off and you keep going. And that's what we're doing."