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.
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.