Getting to know a different “Gucci”

I’ve always known Gucci as the infamous Italian fashion designer, so about a year ago when my little sister starting using the phrase “That’s Gucci,” instead of “That’s good” I was confused. I concluded it must’ve been some sort of pop culture reference, since “suburban fabulous” seemed to be her most recent ambition.

Last Thursday, thanks to “The Source” magazine, I was introduced to yet another use of the word “Gucci.” On the April front cover of “The Bible of hip-hop music, culture, and politics” was down-south superstar and music millionaire Gucci Mane.

Featuring a gold and diamond-studded grill in his mouth, a tattoo of an ice cream cone on his face and a diamond ice cream cone necklace to match, I couldn’t help but wonder how I’d never seen or heard of this man before.

After reading through the article and thoroughly examining the multiple photos of Gucci Mane (aka Radric Davis) in or around his bright yellow Ferrari, I felt interestingly educated about an entire culture I’ve simply been ignorant to: the hip-hop culture.

In the article, Mane expressed his excitement for achieving a spot on Forbes magazine’s “Hip-hop cash kings” list for 2010, and confidence that he will soon be considered the richest man in Atlanta. He also discussed the possibility of putting together a reality show with fellow Atlanta rapper Waka Flocka Flame.

To him, “reality” means everyone knows who he is, what he’s worth and what he has, which he made clear when he told the story of being recently pulled over by a police officer who only wanted to take a glimpse inside his car.

Perhaps the most intimidating information I learned about the 31 year old rapper was his legal history. The man’s been arrested five times since 2011 on charges including cocaine use, traffic violations (he was driving on the wrong side of the road) and murder, although the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

Following his release from a psychiatric hospital in January, Mane was spotted  sporting fresh ink on his face: an ice cream cone with three scoops, and the word “Brrr” written above it. In the article, he said the tattoo was meant to symbolize the way he lives his life, “cool as ice.”

After reading all of this, I felt an incessant urge to listen to Gucci Mane songs for the next hour. I found myself incredibly intimidated by almost every music video I watched — the music itself, even without listening to the words, just scared me.

Strangely enough, Gucci Mane is considered a god in the hip-hop world, whereas I could’ve gone my entire life without him in mine. I guess it just goes to show how different cultures bridge the gap between what’s considered “Gucci” and what’s considered narcissism.