Fame As A Ferris Wheel: On Gucci Mane And Lil B

By: 01.19.11  •  70 Comments

The money is enticing but the idea of fame is frightening. Or shall we say, the ungodly amounts of attention and the light’s pulsating glare are chilling to some. However, others relish in the camera’s flash and the constant presence of microphones pressed in front of them searching for the next soundbite. Gucci Mane and Lil B are two stars – one seemingly at his peak and the other rising rapidly – whose handling of stardom sharply contrast. As each entertainer rises in popularity, he soon realizes there’s no downtime, no such thing as not being “on” and the results show how polarized the two artists are.

In the end, both Gucci and Lil B handle the light’s omnipresent shine completely differently. The Ferris wheel must come to a stop eventually, as any carnival or amusement park patron can attest to. When it does, some riders will be left perched high in the air, either embroiled in quiet panic or calmly awaiting the chance to step off the ride, feet swinging carefree while enjoying the wait. The rider’s reaction can be the equivalent to how they adapt to fame.

Gucci’s come a long way since he and Burn One dropped Chicken Talk in 2006. But, at this point, would Mr. Zone 6 ever trade the price of fame to regain a semblance of anonymity? Music has opened countless doors of opportunity and afforded him frivolities, such as affording to blow $20K on a football game this weekend. But would he ever give back at least parts of it to go back to being Radric from around the corner who was trying to rap? The same could be said for any troubled star – rapper or otherwise. Anyone who engages the spotlight once is likely to want to remain in it. The beams inviting and warm, the spoils greater than the wildest dreams can imagine. Yet, the scrutiny and demands require exhausting output and a light step. Say the wrong thing or let a rumor circulate and the surrounding world rallies in uproar. Make a misstep or burn a bridge and backbiters chomp. Supporters turn to detractors quicker than imagined. In other words, navigating fame’s tightrope is far from easy, especially when there’s no net to support a fall.

Many loathe the idea of giving Gucci credit for his advances on the mic. Truly, his content is limited. Or maybe he understands what his brand is about. It’s not like we see Apple trying to crack the automobile market and peddling car batteries. Watch and listen the Georgia-born emcee closely enough and see that he’s able to do what Nicki gets so much credit for and that’s altering his flow within songs, sometimes mid-verse – albeit minus the vocal inflections. His drawl and slur may seem to be drawbacks but he’s able to drop a precise amount of words in each bar. Simply put, he’s talented.

Obviously, the faulty wiring in Gucci’s brain has only been heightened, otherwise how can an oversized ice cream cone tatted on the face be a considered as a sign of mental competency. Oh yeah, he did it after being released from the looney bin. If anything, the whole mental defect as a criminal defense is only enhanced with the move.

Yet, I don’t think applying permanent ink to one’s face could be considered solely as just a legal ploy. I know when I get ink, it’s an indelible mark, usually either a strong reminder to self or an outward proclamation to the world. So which one applies to Gucci? I’d wager it’s the latter, the omen which reads that he needs extreme assistance. And for the record, the proposed reality show between he and Waka speaks doom before it even airs and most likely won’t help his mental state as much as it will his pockets.

For all of the riches gained, he’s been bombarded with the strains of success. Heightened expectations. Lawsuits. Internal family feuding. Oh, then there’s that always haunting murder case that seems ages ago and completely forgotten by many, but must loom large to Mr. La Fleur.

Not for nothing, Gucci just dropped a mixtape, which you can grab below.

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