Southern rapper Gucci Mane recently talked about his experience in jail and how doing time behind bars had a serious impact on his life.
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For Gucci, his recent six-month bid for a parole violation opened his eyes to reality.
"I changed a lot in there," Gucci recently told the Los Angeles Times. "I know this is serious now and I have a lot to get off my chest. This [Appeal] record is painful and gothic and epic, but it's the soundtrack of my past...(Prison) is a real problem in hip-hop -- it's a struggle to let that culture go. You can't let the ideology of the street get you in trouble...I just wish I didn't have to go to jail to learn that. But sometimes we have to sacrifice and be responsible." (MTV)
Last March, Gucci expressed his anticipation to leave jail.
"Unfortunately I've been to jail a couple times. Anytime I come in it's difficult to make music, write songs. This time, I have a peace within me. I've been so excited to get out. I've written about 50 to 60 songs. With money and selling CDs, I can always do that. I believe I can make all the money I've missed the last six months. But I can't regain the time with fans and family." (Billboard)
Upon being released in May, Gucci held a press conference speaking on leading a more positive lifestyle.
"I have made some mistakes in my life that have hurt a lot of people who care about me. I have worked very hard to get past them, but those mistakes have brought me to where I am today, and they will not be repeated. These past six months have been a difficult time, but fortunately I have learned a great deal from my experience. I was able to do a great deal of soul searching; I am coming out with a new attitude towards life...I was forced to miss what should have been one of the proudest moments in my life. This is something that I will make sure never happens again. My time in jail was trying, but I grew from it and am now a stronger and better person. I want to continue on a positive track and truly focus on being a role model to my fans and my community." (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
He also took the opportunity to inform the media about new business ventures.
The rapper said he has launched a new label, 1017 Brick Squad Records, in affiliation with Asylum/Warner Brothers Records, and said he'll be recording with rapper Wacka Flocka Flame in the near future. He said his new album, "The Appeal," is scheduled for a summer release and that he'll begin a nationwide tour in July to promote it. (Associated Press)