In perusing the internet, I came across the artwork for rapper, Gucci Mane’s upcoming album. It’s aptly titled “The State vs. Radric Davis.” Radric Davis, of course, being his government name. I dislike his artwork because it shows this artist in a prison jumpsuit, wearing handcuffs. I dislike this artwork because to a young person it sends the message that “I’m a cool artist and I’m on the cover of my rap album even though I’ve been to prison.”
I dislike the artwork because it AGAIN associates rappers with going to jail–an association I’ve been long tired of.
I dislike the artwork because some young person will think prison has become a rite of passage in becoming an artist. Am I by myself?
After looking at Gucci’s artwork, I decided to look up his legal history on line. From my research, I understand why he felt the need to do an album cover in a prison jumpsuit. Its a look he’s not unfamiliar with…. According to Wikipedia:
On May 10, 2005, Davis was attacked by a group of men who were trying to steal his trademark “So Icey” chain. Davis’ companions shot at the group, killing at least one. The corpse of one of the attackers, Henry Lee Clark III, was found at a middle school. Davis turned himself in to police investigators on May 19, 2005 and was subsequently charged with murder. Davis claimed that the shots fired by his party were in self-defense. The DeKalb County district attorney’s office dropped the murder charge in January 2006 due to insufficient evidence.
The previous October, in an unrelated matter, Davis had pleaded no contest to a charge of assault for assaulting a nightclub promoter the previous June; at the time the murder charge was dropped, he was serving a six-month prison sentence for this. Davis was released from prison in late January 2006.
In September 2008, Gucci Mane was arrested for parole violation for completing only 25 out of 600 community service hours following his 2005 arrest for assault. He was sentenced to a year in prison but was released after six months.
On November 12, 2009, Gucci Mane was sentenced to 12 months in prison for probation violation and taken away to prison in handcuffs.
So Gucci is in prison right now as his album is preparing to drop in 14 days. Right now, he’s “arguably” one of the hottest rappers guest starring on singles and he’s in prison. So like I said, I wish he didn’t have a record as in a prison record and maybe, just maybe, I wish he didn’t have an album either.
More people are going to focus on the fact that he’s in prison than the fact that he started writing poetry when he was 14. SMH.
Gucci. Gucci. Gucci. I hope that you get your life together after this stint in prison.
What do you think? Will his being in prison become more important than his music? Let me know your thoughts.