When: Fri., Sept. 23, 8 p.m. 2016
I was legitimately confused the first time I saw the video for “First Day Out tha Feds,” Gucci Mane’s first single after spending nearly three years in prison for firearms possession by a felon. When he was arrested in 2013, he was potbellied and soaked in lean, his slurred, stuttered rhymes flowing like a codeine-syrup drizzle. But the Gucci in the new music video is clearly a new Mane—his transformation had me triple-checking the YouTube box to make sure I was watching the right guy. The rapper born Radric Davis seems to have turned his life around in jail, slimming down, bulking up, and allegedly going sober. On the July full-length Everybody Looking, Gucci chronicles his journey atop bouncy, superslick Mike Will Made It beats, delivering surprisingly insightful rhymes about rebuilding burned bridges and recovering from drug addiction. The new record is a welcome return for Gucci—his signature slur has cleared up, but the clever voice that made him so much fun years ago is still intact. Added bonus: Everybody Looking features killer verses from some of hip-hop’s best, including Young Thug, Drake, and Kanye.