Who Had A Better Year: Drake or Gucci Mane?
Like it or not, this question is 100% legitimate, relevant, and difficult to answer. I’ll explain why.
2009′s musical year got interesting after the release of Drake‘s eclectic mixtape, So Far Gone, which had the internet goin’ nuts. He racked up 60,000+ downloads on the first day it dropped.
How’d he do it? He built up hella anticipation with his two previous mixtapes, along with a couple of tracks with crooner Trey Songz, but his stock rose exponentially after he was invited on tour with current Young Money boss, Lil Wayne. They even leaked a few tracks in which the former Degrassi cast member arguably outshined Weezy (you can’t tell me he didn’t kill that “Ransom” track. Click here to listen), and that’s when the stars began to align for the 23-year-old.
A couple days after So Far Gone possession, everybody’s status had a Drake quote on their Facebook profile and AIM status. Oh, and don’t forget Twitter. He had girls shivering and shaking and the dudes jammin’ too. I won’t even lie, me and my roommate borrowed our friend’s car and had it on repeat driving around campus to see if anybody was up on it.
Summer hit, and Drake’s unsigned self was on the Billboard Charts twice (“Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl” with his Young Money cohorts), and had Kanye executive producing his first video. Which sucked, but still. The fact remains, he was becoming a household name quickly, even though he had been rapping excellently for a while. It shows how far a solid co-sign can take you, especially from a self-proclaimed Martian who went platinum in a week. He eventually signed with Young Money, and has worked with everybody from Jamie Foxx to Young Jeezy since his recent blowup. He even repackaged his mixtape with all the hits and released an EP for sale on iTunes, adding one bonus track, “Fear”, and still sold 109,000 in two weeks. He probably did this to be included for this year’s Grammy nominations; he’s genius for that.
While Drake had the first half of the year on lock, Gucci Mane came out of nowhere and decided that the second half of ’09 was to be his.
Nobody thought he’d eclipse that “So Icey” joint from back in the day. Then “Freaky Girl” dropped and even after Luda killed the remix, people still didn’t think Gucci had any star power. The Gucci/Jeezy beef (which was squashed today, apparently) had me thinking that his career was as good as dead. But I went to Atlanta to visit my cousin at school, and Gucci had billboards everywhere. He was like an underground king in the South who was worshiped by both the goons and goblins in the streets and the college students and high-schoolers.
His cult following grew and seeped into major cities and hicktowns across the country. Gucci Mania had been steadily building, but following his early release from jail in ’09, sh!t hit the fan. His Plies-assisted single, “Wasted”, was the anthem for every party animal in America, easy. He also killed his appearances on “Boom Boom Pow” with Black Eyed Peas, “Obsessed” with Mariah Carey, “Pretty Girls” with Wale “5-Star Chick” with Yo Gotti. He was to the second half of ’09 what Wayne was to ’08 – the go-to guest feature.
On November 12, he was thrown back in jail for violating probation again, yet his album drops tomorrow, DecemBURR December 8th, and he’ll likely outsell the rest of the artists releasing projects, including The Clipse. Like him or hate him, you have to respect him.
MTV ranked Drake as #3 on their Hottest MC list, while Gucci came in at #6. But in my eyes, these are the only two in conversation for incredible years. So my question to you is, who had a better year? I gave both arguments. You tell me who deserves it. If I left any important facts or points of view out, let me know. Also, for a great breakdown on Gucci’s appeal, check out my man Marcus Dowling’s article here.