No Beef for Me: T.I. Makes a Wise Choice

October 17th, 2012

(Photos from left: John Ricard / BET, John Ricard / BET, Paras Griffin /Landov)

By Gee King

Gucci Mane mentions T.I.’s name three times in just six bars on “Truth (Not a Jeezy Diss).” But Tip has no interest in letting Gucci pull him into his long-lived struggle with Young Jeezy. “Man, I got the money in mind,” said T.I. when questioned about the beef during a Hot 107.9 interview. Tip went on to explain that Jeezy and Gucci’s issues didn’t even register on his radar because his sights are set on a “big sack with a lot of money in it.” The keep-me-out-of-it sentiment was also shared by Keyshia Cole, whom Gucci accused of sleeping with Diddy, and in the four days since Gucci dropped his street-shaking declaration of truth, he’s been treated as more of a playground pest than menacing bully by his fellow musicians.

It’s clear that no one wants it with Gucci on a street level, there’s no need to examine his credibility. But as Rick Ross proved when he beat rap fraud charges after being exposed as a former corrections officer a few years ago, credibility is not as valued in today’s music industry. That may be why Gooch feels the need to overcompensate by turning up the drama to build buzz for his new mixtape, Trap God. At least that’s how Keyshia Cole sees things. “How you gone be a G and you spreading lies?” tweeted Jeezy’s former wifey after Gucci accused her of cheating on Jeey with Puff. “I did a song with Keyshia Cole and I know you still miss her,” spit Gucci on “Truth.” “But Puff was f—ing her while you was falling in love with her.” Cole went on to suggest that the uber-controversial lines were the result of a lack of talent.

After hearing Trap God in full, it’s hard to doubt Gucci’s talent. One of the true lords of trap music, it’s clear why he’s been able to stick around this long. But his love of playing the villain is what has made him an endlessly interesting character all these years. Not unlike MF DOOM, Gucci has carved a lane for himself dissing anyone and everyone and never getting checked for it. Some fans love it, some don’t understand it, but it has clearly worked for him thus far. For whatever reason, though, this time around it doesn’t seem as genuine. Not that we should expect for controversy-loving bad guys like DOOM and Gucci to be completely genuine. But fans have proven in the past few years that they don’t have much patience for phony beefs. Meaning Gucci should tread carefully with his image if he doesn’t want the buzz to backfire on a project that is well deserving of the attention. But he already knows that. He closes his last verse on “Truth” saying, “This the same sh– that got Big and 2Pac killed.” The explosive mixture of the rap industry and street beef has cost the entire culture a lot. If Gucci wants to continue cooking up some of the greatest trap music ever created he’s got to find that right balance.

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