Talk about an omnipresent character. These days Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane has been everywhere from the Internet blogosphere to popular tracks by Mario ("Break Up" feat. Sean Garret), Mariah Carey ("Obsessed" remix and "H.A.T.E. U" feat. Big Boi and OJ Da Juiceman) and 50 Cent ("Crime Wave" remix). But the controversial rapper has made just as much noise on the mixtape front.
The buzz surrounding his Cold War mixtape trilogy--The Cold War America, The Cold War Brrrusia, and The Cold War Great Brrritain--has been deafening. The three discs, which follow his much-talked-about street release The Burrrprint (The Movie 3D), were released all on the same day of October 17 (a nod to his old apartment building number and company name 1017). Atlanta-based mixtape kingpin DJ Drama, who worked on Cold War America, says the hype surrounding Gucci these days is more than justified.
"That guy has put in a lot of work," says Drama, who also worked on The Burrprint, which grabbed headlines when Gucci said Jay-Z, the hip-hop legend behind The Blueprint 3, was not the greatest rapper alive. "He's been killing the streets for quite some time. Gucci is a really smart guy. The concept of the Cold War was all his idea."
Drama continues, "The response has been similar to the Burrrprint mixtape. A lot of the attention on that mixtape was about his comments about Jay-Z, who is my favorite rapper. So I lifted an eyebrow as well. But as an artist, I put it on the tape and let him do what he had to do. It added a whole other level of attention to that project."
One track that really stands out on THE COLD WAR AMERICA for Drama is "Street Cred," a song that features respected hardcore A-Town lyricist formerly known as Killer Mike (now Mike Bigga) and mixtape turned mainstream superstar Drake.
"Drake had a song in mind with Gucci. so I got the two of them on the phone and they chopped it up," says Drama. "I spoke to the two of them and the one thing I said is you guys, in my opinion, if you think about '09, it belongs to Drake and Gucci Mane as far as their impact to the mixtape game. The two of them have breathed life back into the game."
That's not to say Drama is deflecting all of the credit.
"I don't want to take myself out of the equation. To have [Drake and Gucci Mane] on a track together, especially going into the end of the year, it felt good to be part of that."