Although Gucci Mane is preparing to release "The Return of Mr. Zone 6," a 13-track street album, next Tuesday (Mar. 22), the Atlanta rapper is already looking ahead to another spring release: a joint album with fellow Brick Squad MC Waka Flocka Flame called "The Ferrari Boys."
According to Mane (real name: Radric Davis), "Ferrari" will showcase the two MCs equally and arrive "in the next few months" on 1017 Brick Squad Records, with production by Drumma Boy, Schife, FATBOI and Shawty Redd featured on up to 20 tracks. "This album is gonna be the hardest album of the year," Mane tells Billboard.com. "The songs are so clever, the beats are so slammin', and the lyrics are just so aggressive. There's so much energy that we bring to the studio. Nobody's gonna be able to top this album that me and Waka are coming out with."
Since the September release of Gucci Mane's third proper studio album "The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted," which has sold 155,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, Waka Flocka Flame released debut album "Flockaveli" and scored a hit single with "No Hands," which peaked at No. 13 on the Hot 100. Although Waka Flocka was arrested on marijuana and gun charges in January, Mane's recent months have been even less positive: the 31-year-old rapper has been arrested twice since November, and was reportedly admitted to a mental health treatment center in January.
Mane says that recording "Mr. Zone 6" from December to February was a therapeutic process. "The past few months are in this album," says Mane. "I work through my problems, I work through my pain. So when I was going through all the things I was going through, in the courts and all kinds of… I just stayed in the studio. It definitely helped me. The studio's where I go to just let everything out. I can go and just speak my feelings and what's on my mind at the time and just get it off my chest."
"The Return of Mr. Zone 6," which features guest spots by Waka Flocka Flame, Birdman, Master P and Wale, is also Gucci Mane's first release since getting a large ice cream cone tattooed on the right side of his face last January. The rapper says that he's gotten so many questions about the facial art that he's lost count. "Everybody wants to know why I got the tattoo, did it hurt, what it means," he says. "I just tell them it's my trademark. It represents being the coldest in the game."
Gucci Mane has released music videos for a trio of "Mr. Zone 6" tracks -- "24 Hours," "I Don't Love Her" and "Mouth Full of Gold" -- and will be performing at Club Decos in San Diego on March 27. He's also eyeing a fourth proper full-length album after releasing "The Ferrari Boys" with Waka Flocka Flame.
"I'm titling my new album 'The Ice Cream Man,' and it's dropping probably this fall," says the rapper. "I've got a very busy year, I'm very excited too."