Gucci Mane came out of prison a new man with a slimmer figure and really just a bunch of joy. Before he was making headlines for his latest LP, Everybody Looking, Guwop was known for putting on people like Waka Flocka Flame and then Young Thug while steadily maintaining his own career. The man born Radric Davis graces the cover of this fall’s issue of The FADER and explains the importance of mentoring younger artists.

“A lot of artists have a problem with putting other people on, and people don’t embrace them [when they do it] because it ain’t genuine,” the Trap King says. “I’m always trying to help people. I wouldn’t give a damn if I get four artists right now and all of them burn me. I’mma get me four more, because I feel like the more people I help, the more good I do. No matter what a person does, helping somebody can never hurt me.”

He says that he believes the youth are drawn to him in part because of his lyrical style.

“I like that the kids embrace me. I feel proud, I’m flattered,” Gucci says. “I think I’m the easiest to imitate. I can’t imitate Eminem. And they can’t imitate Eminem, but they can imitate Gucci. Is Eminem good? Yes. Do I recognize he’s super talented? Hell yeah! But do I want to play that when I jump in my Maybach?”

Thugger expresses appreciation for Gucci Mane. He appears on Everybody Looking track “Guwop Home” and credits his mentor for his rap style and his work ethic.

“He taught me everything,” the Barter rapper says. “Most definitely he taught me don’t never stop. He was rapping every day, all day and all night. He’ll be mad at me if I’d leave the ‘yo [the studio]. He’d be like, ‘Man, you dead broke and you goddamn running around and I’m up a whole lot of millions and I’m working every day. How the hell that look?’”

He continues by saying his support of Gucci Mane is not shaken by his new lifestyle choices. Some were so shocked at his new direction that they claimed Gucci was a clone.

“I don’t give a fuck. He could be seven hundred pounds, he could be two pounds. Either way it go, he’s still Guwop,” he says. “I’m wit it. He gonna be fat, I’m gonna get fat too, fuck it. He gonna be skinny, I’m gonna be skinny.”

Gucci has laughed at the clone rumors and says that his new direction is about being a better man for everyone to enjoy.

“What’s the use in having all the money if you gonna die and be unhealthy and be sick or diabetic or fat as hell?” he says. “What you gonna do then? Fallin’ out, having seizures. That ain’t what I need to be, that ain’t the future I want. When I was on drugs so bad, I talked different. When I was smoking weed, a damn near pound of weed every day, I was congested. When I was drinking lean like crazy every day, I was out my mind. I was always sophisticated, but it ain’t even sophisticated now — it’s just a sober, a more conscious Gucci. And people probably ain’t used to it. It took a minute for me to get used to it. But they’re gonna have to get used to it because it’s here to stay.”

Check out the entire interview at The FADER.

Gucci Mane’s cover for The FADER, shot by Geordie Wood, is below:

Gucci Mane FADER