Gucci Mane has been one busy rapper since his release from prison on May 26. On Tuesday evening, the emcee dropped the new single “On Me” via WorldStarHipHop, the track sporting a verse from late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur. Listen below!
The musical meeting of the freshly-sprung star with the deceased icon is the latest in a string of celebratory summer jams from Mane. The debut of “On Me” follows yesterday’s online premiere of “First Day Out Tha Feds,” Gucci’s rhyme regarding his recent reformatory release.
Tupac’s vocal take for Mane’s “On Me” was repurposed from “F*ck ‘Em All,” itself a posthumously-released song from Shakur’s 2002 hodgepodge, Better Dayz. Though various urban legends persist regarding Tupac’s faking his death, the artist died on September 13, 1996, after a shooting in Las Vegas.
Complex reports that the Gucci-Tupac collaboration will be featured on Mane’s forthcoming album, Everybody Looking. The ninth full-length record from the rapper is set to be released on July 22 by Atlantic Records in conjunction with Gucci Mane’s own imprint, 1017 Records.
By all accounts, Gucci has been hard at work on new music following his two-year stint for firearm possession. Per The Fader, longtime collaborator Zaytoven detailed Mane’s return and the wealth of material since recorded.
“I seen [Gucci] and he looked totally different. We hugged, we talked for maybe 10 minutes, and after that it was back to work. Just like old times: I’m making the beat and he’s recording real fast. And we’re sitting back listening to it, laughing.”
Mane’s first post-prison single, “All My Children,” took the hip-hop world by storm last month. Reclaiming the throne after his incarceration, Gucci’s rap reinstatement boasted of his musical influence as a permeating force among the vast majority of today’s urban artists.
Nearly 20 years since Tupac’s death, Gucci’s “On Me” further attests to legendary rapper Shakur’s massive sway in the hip-hop realm. Though Tupac released only four albums in his lifetime, his estate and record labels have issued a total of seven post-mortem collections from the artist. The final work completed by Shakur before his death, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (released under the conspiracy-coaxing pseudonym “Makaveli”), was the first to be released posthumously on November 5, 1996.
Just 16 years old at the time of Tupac’s death, Gucci Mane was just one of many hip-hop artists influenced by the West Coast rapper’s indelible discography. Aside from Mane, Shakur’s spirit can be felt in the music of current-day greats like Nas, J. Cole, and Eminem. Gucci is the first to combine Tupac’s verses from past efforts with his new recordings, an arresting nod to the hip-hop hereafter.
Additional evidence of Tupac’s reigning influence was prominently displayed at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts festival when an infamous hologram of Shakur “performed” for concertgoers alongside Snoop Dogg. The stunt launched worldwide interest in holographic presentations of deceased stars, with many fans clamoring for a world tour from Tupac’s technologically-induced spectral visage.
Unfortunately, for us, the #TupacHologram never did a world tour.— Freaky Frankenstein (@FreakyFranken) February 8, 2016
Gucci Mane’s fans currently have much to look forward to with the drop of Everybody Looking this summer and new jams from Mane cropping up by the day. Gucci’s determined work ethic following his jail sentence serves as a testament to the rapper’s commitment to his art. As detailed by BET, a recently discovered interview with Mane from 2006 highlights the musician’s dedication to his craft.
“You can’t be a doctor if you don’t go to school for being a doctor,” he told the camera. “Me, I’m a rapper, so I deal a lot with words. So, I went to English class and I made A’s in it because I knew one day I wanted to be a poet. I wanted be a rapper… I went to speech class… I practiced.”
Hear Gucci Mane’s “On Me” via WorldStarHipHop.
[Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images]