Who is Gucci Gang? As we learned on the day the group was teased as a part of the upcoming Coachella 2019 lineup, it’s a hip-hop trio consisting of trap rappers Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp. Not a typo.
But how do these three personalities fit together? What made them decide that now was the time to debut their group and why are they debuting it at Coachella? Does this mean an album is on the way? It seems that in clearing one question, several more cropped up in its place.
When the group’s name first appeared on the Coachella flyer, fans reasonably wondered who the title referred to. While Gucci Mane is a well-established star with a profile attractive to a big name festival like Coachella, there was no indication from the Atlanta trap rap godfather that he’d decided to change his name.
Yet, there was his photo on the festival’s website when curious fans clicked the artist profile link for Gucci Gang. Understandably, some fans were confused, assuming that the festival’s organizers had made a typo on the flyer due to a Freudian slip. After all, Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” has been inescapable in the year and a half since its debut on Soundcloud made him a household name.
However, within hours after the initial announcement, the site had been updated to include photos of all three rappers. Oddly enough, the only member of the trio to confirm the supergroup’s existence via social media was Smokepurpp, who excitedly tweeted the flyer with the caption, “GUCCI GANG AT COACHELLA … we f*cking sh*t up !!”
Meanwhile, Gucci neglected to tweet anything about the group, although he did send one message advising followers to “Surround yourself with good people,” while Pump opted to tweet nothing for the entire day. None of the three artists specifically explained how or why the group came together, but there are plenty of scattered news items from the previous year to allow speculation.
After the immense success of “Gucci Gang,” the song, Lil Pump became the subject of a bidding war between multiple labels in late 2017/early 2018 when his original Warner Bros. contract was voided by a technicality. In February of last year, multiple publications including Rap Up and High Snobiety reported on rumors that Pump had signed to Gucci’s 1017 record label based on Gucci making public overtures via social media and Pump later appearing to be wearing a chain bearing the imprint’s logo.
While Pump ultimately wound up re-signing with Warner Bros., it looks like Gucci’s interest laid the groundwork for their collaboration later in the year, as Pump featured on Gucci’s Evil Genius track, “Kept Back.” It’s also worth noting that Evil Genius released under Atlantic Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group, which also owns Warner Bros. Records, where Gucci previously released multiple records and apparently maintains ties. It’s entirely possible that he helped facilitate Lil Pump’s newest deal.
Meanwhile, Pump and Smokepurpp have even closer ties, as both hail from South Florida and have collaborated multiple times. In fact, the origins of the Gucci Gang group name seem to stem from their prior collaborations, although there don’t appear to be any official records or singles under that specific title. There are, however, a handful of tracks — “Nephew,” “Elementary,” and “OK” among them — featuring both rappers and an old, self-titled Pump track produced by Smokepurpp floating around the internet. Then, in November, an interview with HotNewHipHop seemed to confirm that the pair had solidified this working relationship with a label of their own called — you guessed it — Gucci Gang.
The relationship between Gucci Mane and Smokepurpp seems limited to their latest tour together, the Unusual Suspects Tour, which ran for around two months late last year and included DJ Carnage. Apparently, they found some sort of working chemistry there if they were willing to link up officially as a group. Both Smokepurpp and Lil Pump display shades of Gucci’s cavalier approach to Southern-fried lyricism from early in his career, and their brand of distorted-bass Soundcloud rap definitely descended from the Atlanta trap-rap style Gucci helped pioneer in the mid-2000s, so the combination works — at least on paper.
As to why they chose to make the announcement and group debut as part of Coachella’s lineup release — who’s to say? Whether intentionally or not, though, the unusual rollout certainly generated plenty of attention. Once the initial consternation died down, it seemed there was plenty of genuine interest in the unique grouping, which also sparked plenty of press coverage. By continuing to play coy with information, they’ve also created something rare in the modern era of content overload and social media over-share: A genuine air of mystery. They may release an album or they may not. We don’t know what their songs will sound like, except that they will be heavy on the bass and rap purists probably already hate them (that’s not a bad thing). By withholding information, Gucci Gang has ensured that hip-hop fans will have to watch their every move just to see what they do next.
Gucci Mane and Lil Pump are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.