Hip-hop heads are constantly debating who reigns as the king of rap.
With releases like The Life of Pablo, Coloring Book, More Life, 4 Your Eyez Only and Damn in the past year that will forever leave a mark on the hip-hop community and continue to break streaming and sales records, the competition is fierce for the top spot.
It may have been all of the secondhand pot smoke floating through Denver on 4/20, but after last night's performance by the East Atlanta Santa, aka Radric Davis, aka Gucci Mane, there is no doubt: Gucci Mane is king.
Let's look at the numbers.
Case 1: Gucci Mane vs. 2016
Let's start by looking back. 2016 sucked. I won't list the endless reasons, but 2016 did not suck for Gucci Mane. While we questioned our reality and even the veracity of "facts," Gucci was freed from prison five months early. Within 24 hours of his release, the Trap God recorded and released his first song from his record deal with Atlantic Records, "First Day Out Tha Feds." A week later, he released a start-studded track, "Champions," with Kanye West, Quavo (from Migos), Travi$ Scott, Big Sean, Desiigner, Yo Gotti and 2Chainz. Less than two months out of prison, he added his ninth studio album, and before the year ended, he reached number one on the charts with his feature on "Black Beatles" with Rae Sremmurd. Oh, and to top it all off? Gucci Mane got engaged and lost serious weight before 2016 ended. What a year!
Gucci Mane: 1 vs. 2016: 0
Case 2: Gucci Mane vs. Biggie and Tupac
If you want to prove you belong, take shots at the best. Let's do the math. Tupac had four studio albums in his all-too-short life. Biggie had just two. If we add on posthumous albums, Tupac lands at ten, Notorious B.I.G. at only four. Gucci Mane, on the other hand, has 22, and if you add his 64 mixtapes, he's at 86. Fourteen hundred and one total songs means he's a workhorse that barely any rapper can keep up with.
Gucci Mane: 86 vs. Tupac and Biggie: 14
Case 3: Gucci Mane vs. 4/20
Playing 4/20 in Denver is a coveted gig among the weed-smoking elite. This holidaze, the celebrations have been stretched from Wednesday, April 19, to Sunday, April 23. Method Man and Redman kicked off the Red Rocks season and the 420 celebrations. The undisputed king of marijuana culture, Snoop Dogg, and fellow stoner Wiz Khalifa will wrap up the festivities. But playing the actual date of 4/20 is becoming a coveted slot. Method Man and Redman may have played Red Rocks on 4/19 and Cervantes' with Afroman on 4/20, but Gucci Mane played an opening set at Red Rocks for What so Not, Branchez and Flosstradamus — and then, less than two hours later, was on stage at the Ogden.
Furthermore, when shouting out his "weed smokers in tha building," Gucci Mane admitted that he would love to light up, but said, "I can't smoke no more, ’cause I'm on probation." Props to you, Gucci, for resisting the devil's lettuce in possibly one of the most tempting environments in the country on this holiday.
Gucci Mane: 2 in 4 hours vs. Method and Redman: 2 in 24 hours
Gucci Mane: 1 vs. Probation: 0
Gucci Mane: 1 vs. Denver Traffic: 0
Case 4: Gucci Mane vs. 2Chainz
This is a tough case. Gucci Mane, aka "Guwop," is very close to 2Chainz, aka "Mr. Hair Weave Killer." Both Gucci and 2Chainz are from Atlanta and rep their respective ’hoods. But midway through his set, Gucci Mane had to bless the audience with his surprise guest, 2Chainz. The crowd went into a frenzy when the two played a song together before Gucci gave up center stage so 2Chainz could play his recent verse on "No Problem," from Chance the Rapper's Coloring Book. But since we are keeping score, Gucci Mane was wearing 3 icy 1017 diamond-covered gold pendants of graduating size over his orange hoodie.
Gucci Mane's number of Chains: 3 vs. 2Chainz' number of chains: 2
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Case 5: The State vs. Radric Davis
Gucci Mane electrified the crowd. He raced through hits, and with someone who has over 1,400 songs (Bob Dylan has written 359, according to USA Today), there was something for anybody to rap to. During Gucci Mane's party anthem "Wasted," he decided to rap Plies's verse and yell it to the crowd. While the man may have an ice cream cone with lightening bolts tattooed on his face, he combined with Rae Sremmurd to initiate the Mannequin challenge, which took the Internet by storm and even had Beatle Paul McCartney uploading a video. So while some are arguing whether Kendrick, Drake, J. Cole or Kanye are the best, just look to the Gucci Mane-released Meal Ticket (a 36-track compilation), the chart-topping Everybody Looking, his mixtape Woptober, and The Return of East Atlanta Santa, all produced in less than a year, since he walked out of prison. So if you're asking if Gucci Mane is in the best-rapper conversation? He has every reason to say: "Bitch I Might Be."
Gucci Mane 1401 vs. Bob Dylan: 359
Gucci Mane: 3 verses of "Wasted" vs. Plies: 0 verses of "Wasted"
Gucci Mane: 1 vs. Paul McCartney: 1
Gucci Mane: 4 albums in the past year vs. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J. Cole, Kanye: 4 albums total in the past year