I’ve seen Gucci Mane’s name pop up every now and then. I’ve enjoyed a few of his songs, but this video really shook me up. I wanted to learn more. I needed to. I decided to really go out and learn everything I could about him. Big mistake.
The most enigmatic thing about Gucci Mane (other than his Frosted Flakes chain) is obviously his name. I will be saying “Mane” and “name” a bunch more times in this article by the way, so you might as well get your eyes used to it now. Mane name Mane name Mane name. Got it? I don’t care.
Prepare yourself. Things only get more confusing from here.
Anyway, surely his name has some kind of explanation, right? So, I dove down deeper. Where did the name come from? Well first off, it did not come from his birth name: Radric Davis. In fact, this is our first Gucci Mane switcheroo.
Why is his name not just “Radric?” It’s got Rad right there. It’s an interesting name. Maybe I’m out of touch with the Hip-Hop community (psssh, not likely), but it seems like Radric is a perfectly acceptable Rap Name. Not for Gucci Mane, though.
Okay, so if it doesn’t come from his birth name, where did it come from? Curious fans are clamoring to know. Naturally it’s a common question in interviews. Gucci Mane has told several reporters that he got his name from his father’s nickname, who he calls “the original Gucci Mane.” This response is so baffling that almost all interviewers haven’t asked a follow-up. Gucci Mane almost makes sense in a weird way as some crazy rap name, but as someone’s dad’s nickname? Huh? How? I’m trying to think of a scenario where this could be possible. How does any name come to be? Are our names what make us human? My brain is going to some dark places and I do not like it. Journalists seemed to have similar existential crises in response to this response, and they just moved on before there was no turning back.
Hold on. Give me a second. Okay. No wait… Alright. I’m ready.
When Dominique Howse of Hip Hop DX heard his standard response, however, she stood her ground. She asked the question that other journalists didn’t have the guts to ask: “Why was your daddy named Gucci Mane? Did he wear a lot of Gucci?” A perfectly reasonable question. Little did she know, her attempt at clarity was only going to unearth more questions, like ummm… trying to dry clean a suit but then you realize it’s that guy with the question mark suit’s famous Question Mark Suit.
Unlike this man, however, I do not have the answers.
I’m just going to put word-for-word what Gucci Mane responded when asked about his dad being named “Gucci Mane.”
“Nah. Being born in a small town in Alabama, my moms and my pops side are both from down there. Its real country down there and my grandmother gave my daddy a lil country name–she didnt know nothing about them clothes.”
Dominique’s only response was to laugh, then she moved on to the next question. That leaves only two possibilities for that response. Either it’s a joke, or he broke poor Dominique’s brain. If it is a joke, it is a very cruel one. If it’s not, we have a lot more to cover.
Let’s take a look at the word Gucci. At first, it seems like the word might unlock the secret to Gucci Mane’s origin. Gucci–as in the name of the company–comes from the surname of an Italian fashion designer named Guccio Gucci in 1921. Okay. No help there. Funny name though.
UrbanDictionary says that Gucci was extrapolated from meaning just the clothing and fashion stuff to being slang for something fancy, something high-end. Now we’re getting somewhere, makes sense, right? Maybe a Gucci Mane could mean like uhhh… a bunch of chains.
See? It kind of looks like a mane? Hello?
If you have a enough around your neck it could look like a mane. That’s the best I could do before Gucci Mane pulled that rug out from under me and then pushed me off a cliff into a spike pit of confusion. And the spikes are tipped with poison (sadness).
I wish I was impaled right now.
His grandma had never heard of the company. His dad never wore the clothes. So there goes the one and only thing that could have made the name make sense. Where did “Gucci” come from then? Why mane? All decent questions, I think.
But here’s the biggest, question brought up by what Gucci Mane said: How on earth, in what way, is “Gucci Mane” a “lil country name?” Gucci is very Italian, and mane brings to mind African lions. About as far from the American South as you can get. Maybe his grandma saw an old issue of GQ and National Geographic on top of one another at the hair salon? Did it come to her in a dream? Did she meet a hairy Italian man? This is honestly where I have to stop. Seriously. I think we all have to come to terms with the fact that this name exists outside of our universe’s rules.
Gucci Mane may not be of this world. When something as simple as finding the origin of his chosen name proves to be so baffling, who knows what other mysteries he holds. It may be a trick to keep people from finding out too much about him. Imagine how many private investigators have died trying to find out more information about Gucci Mane? It must be thousands. Maybe they should have hired gators in vests instead of investigators. Ha ha ha congratulations Gucci Mane. You broke my brain.
After reading “r’s” thought provoking comment, perhaps Gucci Mane’s name is just a case of some creative spelling. As “r” points out, there is a Muddy Waters song called Hootchie Cootchie Man. After some research, I found out this refers to a belly dance called the “Hootchie Cootchie” that was popular in the late 1800’s on the United States’ East Coast.
And–here’s the kicker–those who either ran or attended the shows were called “gootchie men.” And the word “gootchie” and its permutations were already references in the South for female genitalia before the invention of the Hootchie Cootchie dance.
Which (partially) answers the question of Gucci Mane’s name! It’s a reference to a “gootchie man,” who would attend or run a sexually provocative Hootchie Cootchie dance show. Cool. I feel somewhat satisfied with that.
We did it, everyone. We did it together.
Of course, this brings up a slew of new questions, as Gucci Mane’s name often does. First of all, why would a parent (Gucci Mane’s grandma) give her son a name that is associated with sexual things? Why did she associate Gucci Mane’s dad with a promiscuous man? Maybe he was.
Next, why did Gucci Mane alter the spelling and pronunciation of the name? Is he not aware of the original spelling, or did he take artistic license with it? Furthermore, why would he change “man” to “mane?” I guess it does give it a more laid back feel.
Maybe Gucci Mane’s name is one of those riddles than can never be solved. Gucci Mane seems to have purposefully kept the name’s purpose and origins mysterious, and as of now, it seems that will be how it will remain. Maybe it’s intended to provoke thought, to be an artistic touch, not something that has a definitive answer, a Rorschach test of a name that tells you more about yourself than it does about the person behind it. That’s how I choose to look at it from here on out. Thanks for reading.