Gucci Mane Speaks Out On Sobriety and Mental Health: “It Makes Me Stronger”

(Photo Credit: Gucci Mane instagram)

Rapper Gucci Mane has had a roller coaster life in his hip hop career: from a rising star to being sentenced to jail, only to come out better than ever, at the top of the charts and now getting married to the love of his life. Gucci is riding all the waves of life, whether up or down. Because according to him, he’s able to adjust to those waves better now due to dealing with something that’s not readily discussed in the Black community: mental illness. Gucci Mane opened up about his mental health and addiction in a recent interview with ESPN’s Highly Questionable.

In the interview, Gucci Mane, born Radric Davis, speaks about how he developed PTSD after a robbery in 2005. Additionally, the stress of his music career along with the possibility of facing 20 years in prison after he was charged with two counts of possessing a firearm as a felon in December 2013 only made matters worse.

“I feel like I was going to try to kill somebody for trying to kill me,” said Gucci of his paranoia before going to prison. “I was never afraid. I just kinda, in my mind I felt like someone was going to try to hurt me, do something to force my hand and defend myself and hurt them.”

Before serving three years in prison, Gucci had a daily habit of abusing various substances including alcohol and lean–a mixture of soda and codeine/promethazine-based cough syrup. While he went through withdrawal in prison, he was motivated by the fact that he was given another chance at life with his reduced sentence.

The rapper was facing 20 to 30 years, but he was able to negotiate a deal that only required that he serve three years. “I felt like I could still manage it. I could still have a career when I got out and not lose my whole life. It was like, ‘Let me fix my life,’” says Gucci.

(photo credit: Laflair instagram)

Since his release from prison, his main priority is getting his mental and physical health back on track. “I had time to sit back and evaluate everything, and also dry out from the drugs. I tried to make the time work for me the best I could,” said Gucci. “I didn’t want to live my life in prison. So I was like, one thing I need to do is be totally sober. I need to have complete clarity. I need to have razor sharp focus on everything I do, every day from when I wake up to when I go to sleep.”

(Gucci Mane and wife Keyshia Ka’oir/Photo Credit: Instagram)

Historical adversity, which includes slavery, sharecropping and race-based exclusion from health, educational, social and economic resources, translates into socioeconomic disparities experienced by…