It seems like wherever Gucci Mane goes, he attracts controversy and perplexing questions. Whether it be his various run-ins with the law, his outlandish jewelry, or his decision to get an an ice cream cone tattooed on his face, Gucci always makes headlines. With his new street album The Return of Mr. Zone 6 in stores today, we figured it was the perfect time to talk with the Brick Squad leader about the various moving parts surrounding his career. We asked about his friendship with Waka Flocka Flame and their upcoming joint album, the making of his new street album, and why in the world he got an ice cream cone tattooed on his face. GUCCI!
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
Gucci Mane: I just felt like on my last album, I had so many big collaborations, from Wyclef to Pharrell to Estelle. So I guess inside of me, I just wanted to go back to my core fans and give them a street album.
Complex: What was the recording process like?
Gucci Mane: It was fun. I had my whole team in there with me. If I recorded a song by myself, I had my whole staff in there with me, so it would be easier for good energy. And I had a lot of collaborations. I collaborated with Waka three times on that album. I collaborated with Master P, Birdman, and 8Ball, so I had a lot of legends on there. It was a great experience. I recorded from December through January in Atlanta and at the Hit Factory in Miami. I wanted to feed the streets, so I just went in there and banged out like 13 tracks with it. Threw it out there. I just really started reaching out to everybody I had met in the rap game. Everybody who I looked up to and listened to as a teen, I wanted to involve them in this CD.
Complex: You mentioned you were trying to feed the streets with this one. Do you feel like you haven’t been feeding them lately?
Gucci Mane: I feel like I took my fans a little too far left with my last album, so i just wanted to come back and give them a hood album, just for my core fanbase that’s been with me since the beginning.
Complex: Do you feel like The Appeal had more of a pop feel than a street feel?
Gucci Mane: Not necessarily more of a pop feel, but just more collaborations and not enough Gucci. I wanted to bring them back to what’s relevant and current in the hood, so I wanted to go back and give the inner-city a CD. I threw this one out here for my fans. As if to say like, ‘If you didn’t like The Appeal, or you weren’t pleased with The Appeal, I definitely know you’re going to be pleased with The Return Of Mr. Zone 6.
Complex: Were you satisfied with the way The Appeal performed?
Gucci Mane: I think it was a great album. I’m not satisfied with the way it performed, but I definitely don’t take anything away from the album. It’s a great album, well put together, and has some great records on there. I just think it came out kind of quickly and it wasn’t promoted long enough. But I still feel like it was a stellar album and it did pretty good. I definitely think it could have done better if we’d had more time to promote it.
Complex: Do you feel like a lot of your fans weren’t pleased with The Appeal?
Gucci Mane: I feel like they were pleased with it, because I get a lot of good responses from “Weirdo,” “Making Love To The Money,” and “Haterade.” But we didn’t follow up with a lot of videos for these great records that we had and I think that was one of the mistakes I made with The Appeal. That’s why with The Return Of Mr. Zone 6, I shot like four or five videos from it. I didn’t just put out the mixtape.
Complex: You mention doing a lot of collaborations, I feel like the streets would love to see you get on a song with Jeezy. Do you think that’s something that would ever happen?
Gucci Mane: It ain’t happen yet.
Complex: So, it’s not gonna happen?
Gucci Mane: It hasn’t happened yet. Moving on to the next question.
Complex: One of the things recently that caused a big stir was your ice cream tattoo. What inspired you to do that?
Gucci Mane: Just me being the coldest emcee in the game is what inspired me to go get that tattoo.
Complex: So you had to get an ice cream tattoo?
Gucci Mane: Yup.
Complex: But why did you put lightning on it?
Gucci Mane: That’s just what I wanted.
Complex: Was that something you’ve been wanting to get for a long time, or was that a spontaneous decision?
Gucci Mane: I’d just like to tell everybody that’s going to read Complex Magazine to go get The Return Of Mr. Zone 6, and see how much growth I’ve done in a short time, from The Appeal to The Return Of Mr. Zone 6.
Complex: Okay. You talked about having three songs with Waka on The Return Of Mr. Zone 6. For a while you and Waka weren’t cool, but that relationship has recovered, right?
Gucci Mane: Me and Waka were never not cool so I don’t know where you get that from.
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)Complex: How did The Return of Mr. Zone 6 come about?