The untold truth of Gucci Mane

Gucci Mane, whose real name is Radric Davis, skyrocketed to fame after the release of his 2005 song "Icy," and his career hasn't slowed down since. A "founding father" of trap music, the marble-mouthed rapper has become widely known for his flow, style, and, of course, his major influence in the rap world. He has collaborated with just about everyone from Mariah Carey and Drake to Nicki Minaj and Marilyn Manson. And, given his popularity and reach, Mane is likely the reason some up-and-coming rappers have ill-advised face tattoos. We're just saying…

You would think you'd know everything about the "I Get the Bag," rapper, seeing as he has spent more than a decade in the rap game, right? Wrong! The truth is that there's so much more to this Atlanta trapster. That said, let's dive in and take a closer look at the untold truth of rapper Gucci Mane.

The self-proclaimed 'East Atlanta Santa' is not actually from the city

Gucci Mane has routinely rapped about Atlanta in his music as if it's his hometown, even creating monikers based on the city, such as "Mr. Zone 6" and "East Atlanta Santa," but, contrary to popular belief, he's not actually from there. He was born in Bessemer, Ala., where he reportedly lived until he was 9 years old, according to The Undefeated. "I came up in my granddaddy's house at 1017 First Avenue—an olive-green, two bedroom in Bessemer near the train tracks," he wrote in his 2016 memoir, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, as reported by Revolt

Although he later spent much of his life in Georgia, he's never forgotten where he came from. He would later pay homage to the "1017" address through his label 1017 Bricksquad, which, as Revolt pointed out, "[housed] some of hip-hop's finest in their nascent stages, including Waka Flocka Flame, Young Thug, OJ da Juiceman, Migos, Chief Keef, and many more."

Art imitates life

Gucci Mane doesn't just rap about the perils of street life for any old reason — he actually lived it. The "Wasted" rapper revealed in his 2016 autobiography that he started selling marijuana back as a child, before moving on to harder drugs in the years that followed. He reportedly decided to start selling crack cocaine when his mother couldn't afford to pay for a pair of Air Jordans and a Starter jacket he'd been eyeing for Christmas, offering him just $50 to use toward a present for himself. "Frustrated, I took the money and left the apartment walking toward the other side of Mountain Park. I knew that's where the dope man stayed. I handed him the money and he handed me two tightly wrapped $50 slabs of crack cocaine," he explained (via Newsweek).

However, he still managed to stay on his A-game at school, graduating from high school with a 3.0 GPA and earning a scholarship to Georgia Perimeter College, according to Revolt.

An unconventional start into music

Many rappers have said that they always knew they were going to be a star, but Gucci didn't necessarily grow up seeing his name in lights. In fact, his music career kind of took off under weird circumstances. In an interview with The Fader, the "Lemonade" rapper explained that he got into the music scene because he was trying to help a neighborhood kid who rapped. When the kid didn't show up to a recording session one day, the producer urged him to step in. Although he didn't, Mane admitted that it "kinda put the seed" in him to start rapping.

He only got serious about a career in music after realizing that street life was going to have a "terrible consequence" if he kept at it. "I kind of made a conscious decision like, I'm going to be a rapper,"  Mane recalled to NPR. "And I'm going to be serious about it. No matter what happen, I'm going to make it happen."

He was accused of murder

Shortly after bursting onto the music scene with the 2005 Young Jeezy collaboration, "Icy," Gucci Mane was arrested on murder charges. The shooting reportedly went down that May while Mane was visiting a female friend. While with the woman, five men reportedly stormed into her apartment and threatened to shoot the rapper, according to MTV News. Some time during the exchange, Mane allegedly got ahold of a gun and started firing. After Mane reportedly hit one man, 27-year-old Henry Lee Clark III, the group reportedly left. Clark later succumbed to his injuries, and Mane was arrested for the shooting just a day before his debut album, Trap House, hit shelves.

The rapper went on to claim that he fired in self-defense (via MTV News), and the charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence. "Based on [a witness testimony] and some other information, it came out that it was a self-defense situation," explained his lawyer. "It was going to be either a robbery, an aggravated assault or a murder."

His feud with Young Jeezy

The shooting wasn't as much of an open-and-closed case as it might sound. It was revealed that the victim, Henry Lee Clark III (also known as rapper Pookie Loc), had ties to Young Jeezy, with whom Gucci Mane had previously been feuding over the rights to "Icy" (via Complex). Jeezy — who had previously put out a track called "Stay Strapped," in which he seemed to put a bounty on Mane's chain — denied that he had anything to do with the incident, despite the fact that Clark was signed to his label. Furthermore, Jeezy suggested that Mane was simply "trying to turn a bad situation into good publicity" and "sell his record." To Jeezy, Clark was his "homie," and he would never have sent him on a "dummy mission," as he declared in a 2015 song "Forgive Me" (via Genius).

Mane, however, appeared unconvinced, and the two would continue swiping at each other through diss records and interviews over the years. At of the time of this writing, the two still have a icy relationship. Oh, the irony.

He started prioritizing his health

If you can't identify Gucci Mane by one of his songs, we bet you can at least identify him by his look — or, at least, you probably could have in the past, as one of the rapper's most famous assets was his signature potbelly. But while serving a sentence for gun charges, which ended in 2016, Mane molded his rounded belly into a six-pack. In an interview with Revolt, the rapper explained that he decided to make a change after noticing the effects drugs — particularly marijuana and lean — were having on his body. "The day that I got arrested and stopped doing drugs, eventually it started to dawn on me that [I] had to start taking better care of myself before I [wind] up back in the same situation," he shared. According to The Guardian, he dropped at least 70 pounds.

That's not the only transformation he underwent behind bars, though. Mane also turned into a total bookworm. He told GQ that he started reading "autobiographies and books about philosophy" and told Vulture that he tries to read a book a week.

He's a father

You'd be forgiven for not knowing that Gucci Mane has been a father for nearly as long as he's been in the spotlight, given that the only time much is heard about his son is when Mane and his baby mama are in court battling over child support. According to The Blast, the rapper welcomed a son, Keitheon, whom he shares with a woman named Sheena Evans, in 2007. In his 2016 memoir, Mane revealed that even he didn't know about the child until the boy was nearly a year old. He wrote (via People), "I know what you're thinking. What son? Truth is I didn't know him all that well either. I'd only learned I had a child a year before. He was already 10 months old." He went on, "A girl I used to see had a baby and people were saying it looked like me. I hadn't even known she was pregnant. I reached out and asked her if it was mine. She was unsure. I took a blood test and sure enough, I was the father of the little boy."

Although you might not see the kid, Mane's longtime lady Keyshia Ka'oir assured TV host Wendy Williams that their children from previous relationships absolutely live with them. And while we're on the subject of Ka'oir…

Meet the Bonnie to his Clyde

Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka'oir — the curvy entrepreneur who is often seen beside the rapper, dressed in bright lipstick shades and colorful outfits — have been together for years after they reportedly met on a video shoot back in 2010, as Ka'oir told The Fader. While she was apparently a bit hesitant to go out with Mane, he was into her "on sight." Eventually, the two became a couple, and they stayed together throughout his struggles with drugs and prison stints. When he was released from prison in 2016, Ka'oir drove "in the woods" to pick him up, so they could spend private time together before the public caught wind of his release.

That same year, Mane popped the question with a 25-carat stunner, and the two tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in 2017. According to People, the wedding checked out at a cool $1.7 million.

He helped some of the biggest stars in music

It took some time for Gucci Mane to achieve success, but that doesn't mean he's kept his music skills to himself over the years. He's actually had a hand in shaping the careers and sounds of some of the industry's top acts. In 2016, the Trap House rapper revealed to XXL that he signed "Lifestyle" crooner Young Thug to his label without even hearing a single song. After a close friend, rapper Peewee Longway, vouched for Thug, Mane explained that he added him to the team without a thought. "From that day on … Thug didn't leave the studio. He spent the night there," Mane told the publication. Similarly, he helped bring attention to rap trio Migos and rapper Nicki Minaj way before they became as popular as they now are (via HotNewHipHop).

But it's NBD to Gucci Mane. "I'm always trying to help people," he told The Fader, adding, "I feel like the more people I help, the more good I do."

The tale of the ice cream cone tattoo

In 2011, Gucci Mane debuted some facial ink that got the world talking: a giant three-scoop ice cream cone with lightning bolts coming out of it that featured his catchphrase, "Brr." While some questioned his state of mind, given that he'd just gotten out of a mental health facility, Mane stood by the tattoo, offering a rather, um, interesting explanation regarding the inspiration for the ink. His spokesperson Kali Bowyer told Rolling Stone that the image is "a reminder to fans of how he chooses to live his life. Cool as ice. As in 'I'm so icy, I'll make ya say Brr.'"

Surprisingly, the ink inspired at least one replica, as Gucci Mane's protégé, Young Thug, got a similar tattoo in nearly the same spot on his face, as noted by Complex. Sharing the tattoo on social media at the time, Thug wrote, "I LOVE AND MISS U," presumably to Mane who was in prison at the time.

His broke out onto the acting scene

Gucci Mane had a role in the 2012 drama Spring Breakers, starring alongside James Franco, Selena Gomez, and Vanessa Hudgens. In the party film, which earned decent reviews, the rapper played villain Archie. Though Mane was only a supporting character, viewers shouldn't downplay his hard work. Filming was apparently so rigorous that he fell asleep during a sex scene. "We were working 12-hour days, and then I was going out at night," he explained in his 2016 memoir, as shared by Page Six. "The last scene I shot was my big sex [scene], and by that point I was exhausted." Noting that he used marijuana while filming, he said, "It was 4 in the morning, and even with these two naked b****es on me … I couldn't keep my eyes open. I was knocked out, snoring."

He added, "[Director] Harmony [Korine] kept having to wake me up for takes."

He's just getting started

Gucci Mane has released more than a dozen albums and a seemingly bottomless number of mixtapes in his long career as a rapper. Though we know him to be successful, he didn't see the fruits of his labor right away when he first started out. In fact, he didn't score his first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 until 2016, and it wasn't exactly his song. It was Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles," which featured a sole guest verse by the "Wake Up in the Sky" rapper.

Mane did, however, score an a major accomplishment of his own that year. His 2016 album, Everybody Looking, which was the first project he released after spending three years in a federal prison on firearm charges (via Complex), made it on Billboard's Top Album Sales chart. Speaking about the album to iHeart Radio, Mane explained that the record was one that showed him to be "extremely self-aware" and gave fans an opportunity to understand his "thought process."