Since his debut album “Trap House” in 2005, Gucci has been instrumental in birthing a new genre, signaling a seismic shift in the music world and reshaping the scene of that time. Today, this expansive sub-genre of hip-hop dominates the global music charts, with the “So Icey King” himself reigning supreme.
Gucci’s rich discography, immense fan base, and tens of billions of streams have not only catapulted him to the pinnacle of the music scene but also influenced the sound of megastars like Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, and Rihanna. In parallel with his performing career, Gucci Mane has honed his production skills and an uncanny ability to spot and nurture future music legends. His role in the rise of successful trap artists, including Migos, Future, Young Thug, and Chief Keef, is a testament to his impact on transforming mainstream music.
Many of today’s successful trap artists owe their beginnings to Gucci’s influence. Here’s a list of 10 names that best prove this assertion.
Migos – Being from Atlanta, just like Migos, Gucci has a knack for spotting talent in his hometown. He was one of the first mainstream rap stars to feature as a guest artist on their third mixtape, Y.R.N, in 2013. In 2014, as part of the World War 3D trilogy, Gucci collaborated with Migos on the renowned The Green Album. Today, Migos stands as one of the biggest names in the genre, and our audience had the chance to experience their explosive performance at the EXIT festival in 2018.
Future – Gucci discovered Future early in his career. He had fun working with him, so they ended up collaborating on one of the most famous mixtapes just before Gucci’s major deal with Epic Records. Signed by Gucci Mane, Future’s path was clear – he was destined to become a serious force in the rap industry.
Chief Keef – The leader of Glory Boyz was already famous before meeting Gucci Mane. His song I Don’t Like was a big hit. While not significantly boosting Keef’s performing career, Gucci played a crucial role in his production career by producing 16 of 20 songs on their joint album Big Gucci Sosa, allowing Keef to learn from his expertise.
Young Thug signed a contract with 1017 Records in 2013, and Gucci quickly recognized his immense talent. Their dedicated collaboration over the next year and a half resulted in Thug’s critically acclaimed mixtape, “1017 Thug,” which earned a spot on several “best of the year” music lists.
Waka Flocka Flame – In the trap world, it’s well-known that Waka Flocka and Gucci Mane were inseparable friends in the late 2000s. Their paths crossed when Waka’s mother, Debra Antley, began managing Gucci. When Waka aspired to make a name for himself, it was Mane who guided his way. Waka was the first artist to sign with Gucci’s 1017 Brick Squad Records.
Zaytoven’s hit-making prowess is well-documented, but few know he was once under the wing of 1017 Records. Guwop, captivated by Zaytoven’s beats, made him his right-hand man in the music world. This partnership led to numerous hits, including the iconic “Icy” from 2005, and catapulted Zaytoven onto the global stage.
OJ Da Juiceman – A friend of Gucci Mane for over 30 years, it was the So Icey King who introduced his talented friend to the world. Under Gucci’s label, OJ released his acclaimed debut, “The Otha Side of the Trap,” and the follow-up, The Otis Williams Jr. Story. These projects helped OJ hone his now-signature laid-back style.
Peewee Longway – The last rapper to sign with 1017 Records before Gucci Mane’s three-year hiatus, Peewee had the daunting task of keeping the label relevant. He rose to the challenge, becoming another of Gucci’s protégés and featuring in the World War 3D trilogy.
Asian Doll gained a substantial following on Instagram and SoundCloud thanks to her exceptional freestyle skills. Yet, outside the small SoundCloud community, she wasn’t receiving much recognition. That changed in 2018 when Gucci Mane signed her as the first female artist to 1017 Records, catapulting her from phone screens to the MTV Awards red carpet the same year.
Tennessee’s Pooh Shiesty often called the Gen Z version of his more famous mentor, shares the same effortless style as Gucci. Adopting Gucci’s signature “brrrr,” he quickly took the rap scene by storm, especially with the massive success of Back In Blood.
Pooh Shiesty is part of the new 1017 Brick Squad lineup and a new generation of artists supported by Gucci Mane. This fresh sound marks a new era in Gucci’s scouting career. As one of the top A&Rs in rap music, it seems Big Guwop has refined his strategy, promising much exciting new music in the future.