Gucci Mane emerged onto the hip-hop scene in the mid-’00s and has since become one of the most instrumental figures in Atlanta trap music. Over a decade later since his debut, Gucci has influenced a slew of today’s rising artists, including “Magnolia” rapper Playboi Carti, who also hails from Atlanta and previously listed Guwop as one of his inspirations.
For Highsnobiety‘s latest magazine issue, Gucci and Carti meet up to discuss hip-hop’s new school vs. old school and the genre’s changing culture. Earlier in August, Gucci posted an image of himself and Playboi Carti — a teaser from their Highsnobiety shoot — and wrote “I just want to be a better mentor to these talented new artists,” followed by the hashtag “#PlayboiLaFlare.” Speaking to Highsnobiety about what he can learn from emerging talents, Gucci said that seeing the newer artists in the game reminds him of the beginning of his career, when he was starting to gain traction in hip-hop.
“I feed off of the energy of young artists. It takes me back to the time when I was trying to get in the game, trying to get heard and just trying to build a fan base,” he told Highsnobiety. “Sometimes, it’s hard for me to feel the same hunger, but if I keep them around me, they’re so eager and they’re ready to make their next home-run record. It makes me want to be in the studio, it makes me want to perform. I just feed off the energy. They keep me going.”
Carti who released his self-titled debut mixtape earlier this year, said that he’s “all ears” when he meets a hip-hop veteran like Gucci. “They can tell you what mistakes not to make, and how to do things in certain situations,” Carti said. “I just sit back and learn as much as I can.”
Elsewhere in the interview, the rappers discuss the generational divide in hip-hop and why it’s important for newer artists to “respect their elders.”
“You cannot be from Atlanta and not know who Gucci Mane is, period. I know so many singers and shit just based off my parents. So seeing rappers saying they don’t know who Tupac is, like what the fuck you talking about? How you a rapper?” the “wokeuplikethis*” rapper said. “I know who Michael Jackson is, I know who Prince is, I know the Isley Brothers, all that. Still, I got my own thing going with this music. You have to know certain shit. That’s just how you get respect as an artist.”
Guwop, who recently unleashed his book The Autobiography of Gucci Mane and is preparing to release his album, Mr. Davis, is also planning an upcoming BET wedding special, and recently announced plans to continue his consistent output of music in 2018 by “going 100 percent independent and dropping a mixtape every other day.” This year alone, Gucci has teamed up with a host of artists including pop starlets Fifth Harmony and Selena Gomez, as well as Migos, Desiigner and The Weeknd.
Read Gucci Mane and Playboi Carti’s full Highsnobiety feature here.