A History of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame’s Beef
“A thug changes and love changes. And best friends become strangers, word up.” —Nas
At one point in time, Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame were as thick as thieves. The two were the Batman and Robin of the Atlanta trap rap scene, with Waka being the flagship act on Guwop’s 1017 Brick Squad Records. They were the artists that critics loved to hate, and they embraced the role while helping to shape the current sound of the South and rap music as a whole. But along the way, things turned left.
It’s a story we’ve seen play out numerous times in hip-hop. Rappers come into the game as homies and eventually end up wanting to slap the taste out of each other’s mouths. With Gucci and Waka, the feud's origins appear to be deeper than rap.
Publicly, Gucci was clearly in the wrong. There were signs of a rift earlier, but his mind-boggling actions throughout 2013—when he was admittedly battling heavy drug addiction and lashed out at everyone close to him by way of lawsuits and scandalous Twitter allegations—seemed to be the coup de grace.
Gucci Mane went to prison in May 2014 and emerged after spending two years in a United States Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. a changed man. Denouncing his former bad decisions, he appeared to rebuild bridges that were burned with several artists he’d wronged. But neither he or Waka have shown the need to extend an olive branch.
“I wish [Waka] well,” Gucci told Funkmaster Flex in 2016. “I'm just trying to keep focused on what I got going. I can't be thinking about that. I can't trip forward looking back."
Waka has echoed the same sentiment in recent years (sans the well wishes), and fans hoping for a reunion have all but given up hope. That is until recently when Waka revealed that he’d sincerely be game to squash his beef with his former big homie after all of these years.
With old wounds finally seeming to be scabbed over, XXL takes a look back in the past and chronicles Gucci and Waka's turbulent times.
Signs of friction first show up in 2010. Waka conducts a radio interview with DJ Drama on Atlanta’s Hot 107.9, revealing that he and Gooch are no longer on speaking terms but he still has love for the Zone 6 rapper.
A short time later, Gucci is interviewed on Richmond’s iPower 92.1 and unceremoniously cuts the interview short and walks out after the DJ informs him off the air that he wants to ask questions about the issues with Waka.
Hints of disruption in the Brick Squad camp died down for a while with Gucci and Waka coming together on the joint album Ferrari Boyz in August 2011. However, by 2013 there were clear issues between Wop and his protégé. In March of that year, Gucci announces he’s dropping Waka from his label.
“Waka flacka flames officially dropped off brick squad 1017,” Gucci announces on Twitter. “Big Guwop say give me a offer fa this disloyal lil nigga.”
The tweet induces a harsh response from Waka who replies, “Somebody tell Gucci Mane 2 SUCK A DICK.”
A rep for Gucci later claims the tweets were the job of a hacker. But the damage is done. The same month, Waka publicly disses Gucci at a Dipset reunion show and goes on to say he will never work with him again.
The following month, there appears to be a change of heart. Waka claims during an interview there is no beef with Guwop. “We went two paths in our lives,” Waka reveals. “There ain’t no beef, no animosity. Me and him see too different goals. I guess we both at the finish line, we are just going our own routes. That’s all I can say.”
By August, it’s clear that Gucci has not only severed ties with Waka but is ready to burn bridges with damn near everyone in the industry. The then potbelly rapper goes on an epic Twitter tirade dissing T.I., Jeezy, Yo Gotti, Nicki Minaj, Waka and others. He again spitefully offers Waka’s contract to the highest bidder.
Waka’s response implies he is down with all the smoke. “I’m a check this old ass LiL nigga 35 acting like he 19,” he posts on Twitter. “You know where I live and hang…. Why tweet a nigga a million miles away…This time ya twitter ain’t get hacked STAND ON YOUR WORDS.”
The beef continues into the fall with Gucci continuing to diss even more people, including everyone on his label. Waka appears on The Breakfast Club and talks about the origins of the beef, saying Gucci’s jealousy is one of the things that sparked their issues.
“When I started going on tours, when I started buying different cars. I’m not leasing nothing. I start buying different jewelry. [Gucci’s] conversation changes with me now,” says Waka, who admits at this point he wants to put grown-man hands on Guwop.
“If I catch him it's going digital," he warns. "I don’t want to kill him. I just want to slap him a few times. Like a little brother… Man, Gucci lost his noodles. People be thinking, ‘He’s gangster,’ he really needs medical attention.”
With tension still thick, Waka drops the Gucci Mane diss song “Ice Cream Cone,” where he goes at his former big homie’s neck for his recent antics, which include getting a huge ice cream cone tattooed on his face.
"Just for attention you cause all of this commotion/Nigga you just talking you don't really want your business in the open," Waka spits on the track.
Gucci Mane files a lawsuit against Waka Flocka Flame and his mother, Guwop's former manager Debra Antney. The federal lawsuit accuses them of fraud, racketeering, theft and breach of contract. The suit claims Waka violated his contract and Antney took control of Gucci’s label with Waka's help and created three separate companies without the approval of Gucci.
Gucci Mane’s turmoil-filled 2013 and all of the related antics culminate with the rapper being dropped from Atlantic Records and sentenced to two years in prison in May 2014. During this time period, nearly a year and half removed from all the bad vibes, Waka claims his beef with Gucci is a thing of the past.
“I'd just say [from a] business point of view, it'll never happen," says Waka when asked if he would consider working with Gucci when he gets out. "Just because a snake's frozen right now, when it thaws out don't mean it ain't gonna bite you... [But] it's under the rug, man. Fuck it. It is what it is."
Giving another example that he is willing to put their issues in the past, Waka is seen holding a “Free Gucci Mane” sign at one of his concerts.
When Gucci Mane is released from prison in May 2016, his return has rap fans going nuts. Fans hoping a Waka reunion would follow are sadly mistaken when Guwop reveals he hasn't talked to Waka in three years.
"It's just done," Gucci tells Funkmaster Flex. "I wish him well. I'm so concerned with the stuff I got going, I just did two albums in three months. I'm just trying to keep focused on what I got going. I can't be thinking about that. I can't trip forward looking back."
Gooch makes a point to mend his relationships with a number of artists he previously wronged. Waka is apparently not on that list, for one reason or another. Fans were waiting with bated breath for a reunion. Waka put that to bed during an interview on Viceland’s The Therapist.
“That man know what he did,” says Waka. “Deeper than music, deeper than anything anybody can even imagine. When it's like that, it's personal. So I [thought] let me make me a record to show you that we'll never be friends. If you cross the line, it's gonna go to something different. I was more loyal to him than he was to himself.”
Waka finally answers fans’ questions about Gucci Mane on Twitter, giving specifics about their beef. He reveals a big portion of his issues have to do with Gucci selling the Brick Squad moniker to a record label.
"All in all I still got hella love for gucci, what we got going is between us and music has nothing to do with it," Waka says. "Real Brick Squad fans understand this. He doing well I’m doing well I hope hope no more Waka Gucci conversations pop up.. sweep it under the rug #BsM."
As the new year approaches, Waka Flock Flame appears honestly ready move into 2019 with a clean slate. And that means letting bygones be bygones by extending an olive branch in Gucci’s direction.
“We was young niggas, man, with dreams and we really succeeded but this game changed us,” Waka says in an Instagram video directed at the Evil Genius rapper. “We finna take this shit back. From the big homie, I’m telling y’all first. Aye Gucci, nigga let’s sit the fuck down. All that playing over. You know how to get me, big dog. You call me, nobody else.”