Just a few months ago, the only major hip-hop artist with a murder rap seemed on the cusp of crossover success. But for a man who says he just wants to entertain, he can't seem to stay out of his own way. Read on for his story. Radric "Gucci Mane" Davis has had enough. The hyper-prolific Alabama-born, Atlanta-raised rapper known for wide-ranging free-associative fascinations with colors, wildlife, baking products and swag, as well as an accent that would give a professional interpreter fits, is done participating with this story. Through. Finished. Peace. Looking back, it's easy to pinpoint exactly when things started going south between us. Talk had turned to Gucci's teeth -- a subject that captivated rap blogs late last year when Gucci ditched his gold grill and began making the scene with a shiny set of pearly whites.
Like all great orators -- stand-up comedians, politicians, preachers, wrestlers, etc. -- rappers are at their best when they're grounded in a unique point of view, an arresting way of seeing, digesting, synthesizing, and explaining the world that's somewhat cohesive at its core. The problem with Eminem as an MC at this exact moment is that like all recovering addicts, his core worldview, by necessity, is a mess. On 2009's Relapse, his fifth solo album and first since kicking an addiction to painkillers, Eminem reverted to tried-and-true tropes from his maniacal past -- celebrity bashing, rape fantasies, horrorcore schlock -- in an effort to get his creativity and career back up and running. Technically, the trick worked -- Relapse may be flawed, but it sold well, and as a rap artifact, it's a dizzying trip into the tightly wound mind of one of the genre's all-time lyricists.