Serving time in prison isn’t ordinarily an advisable career move, but incarceration did wonders for Gucci Mane.
Before he was sentenced to a three-year term on firearms-related charges in 2014, the rapper who embraces the nickname East Atlanta Santa was an underground legend. Shortly after he was paroled in 2016, he become a mainstream star.
A series of impressive mixtapes released while he was behind bars expanded his profile. His popularity exploded when images on his Instagram account (5.3 million followers) revealed the shocking superhero-style transformation Gucci Mane underwent while in prison. The rapper’s dramatic weight loss and newfound healthy glow carried over to his music. Clearer enunciation on more accessible beats made him a new favorite of hip-hop fans who had previously overlooked him.
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Gucci Mane’s unlikely ascent makes him the natural headliner of the inaugural edition of the Flyover festival. He’s likely to perform “1st Day Out Tha Feds,” a riveting post-prison classic in which he raps that “I did some things to some people that was downright evil … my own mama turned her back on me — and that’s my mama.”
The notorious rapper contributed a verse to Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles,” the 2016 hit associated with the mannequin challenge fad that’s likely to be re-enacted during the duo’s appearance.
Outings by the mumble-rap kingpin Lil Uzi Vert; Playboi Carti, a highly touted member of the 2017 XXL Freshman Class; and the druggy Miami artist Smokepurpp should also inspire manic celebrations. SuperShaqGonzoe is among the locally based opening acts.
6 p.m. Saturday, July 22. Providence Medical Center Amphitheater. 913-825-3400. providenceamp.com. $29.50-$104.50 in advance.