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Leading up to the release of his much-anticipated return album, Everybody Looking, recently-freed Gucci Mane invited The New York Times into his Marietta, Georgia home for an intimate conversation. The rapper has been going non-stop since being released from prison early, but according to the Times interview, as well as everything we’ve seen, Guwop seems to be loving life more than ever.

It wasn’t always this way, though. From his party lifestyle filled with drugs and alcohol, to his prison sentence, Gucci found himself in a dark place, in need of remedying. But Gucci Mane isn’t the only person his incarceration has been difficult for.

“It’s been tough to be a Gucci fan,” Gucci revealed in this first interview since being released to home confinement. “It’s been tough to be a Gucci friend, a Gucci sibling, a Gucci girlfriend or a Gucci partner. I done took people through a lot, man.”

Guwop then went on to reveal to the Times that he hadn’t been fully sober since he was a teenager, feeling the need for drugs to make quality music and to enjoy life, even

“I felt like I couldn’t make music sober, I couldn’t enjoy my money sober. Why would I wanna go to a club and couldn’t smoke or drink? I felt like sex wouldn’t be good sober. I associated everything with being high.”

His imprisonment in turn forced him to get sober, which is of course easier said than done. Gucci disclosed, “Your body just craving lean bad. Stomach tore up, can’t think straight. Just mad at the world. Temper so short, so violent, so aggressive. So just rude and toxic.”

“Violent” and “aggressive” don’t seem to be words used to describe the Atlanta rapper since he’s been set free, however. In large part thanks to working out, reading self-help books, and merely appreciating life, Gucci has seemed to turn the page to a new, happier chapter in his life.

To read The New York Times‘ entire interview with Guwop, follow on over to their page.

And don’t forget, Everybody Looking is slated to arrive this Friday.

  • Photography: Damon Winter/The New York Times
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