At YL Media Group, we've had our share of memorable experiences in the world of music video production. One such unforgettable tale revolves around a pivotal moment in 2017 when we had the opportunity to work with the legendary Gucci Mane. In this blog, we'll take you through the rollercoaster ride of emotions and events that unfolded during this unique project, emphasizing the importance of professionalism in the entertainment industry.
The Gucci Phenomenon:
It was September 2017, a time when Gucci Mane's triumphant return to the music scene had captivated audiences worldwide. Following his release from prison, Gucci Mane had shed a significant amount of weight, prompting rumors that he was a clone. This transformation only heightened the curiosity and desire to work with the newly revitalized rap icon.
The Unexpected Side of Gucci:
Our story begins in Indianapolis, Indiana, where we had been collaborating with a talented artist named Srt8Check. He had recently secured a song feature from Gucci Mane, and this was our golden ticket to the world of Guwop. However, it quickly became apparent that Gucci wasn't the most sociable figure. He composed his verse inside his car and only entered the studio when it was time to record. After laying down his verses, we snapped a few pictures and he was off. Once I posted the pic of us working with Gucci Mane I started getting inquiries from other artists eager to collaborate and figure out how it cost for a feature with Gucci Mane.
The Seattle Connection:
One of those inquiries came from MDOT80, a rapper hailing from Seattle who was eager to not only secure a feature but also a music video with Gucci Mane. The idea of shooting a video with Gucci, even if he was only featured on a song by an artist we'd already worked with, was electrifying. Gucci Mane was more than just an artist; he was an icon of his era, and his music had left an indelible mark on us since we first heard him in 2005 with "SO ICY," featuring Young Jeezy.
Negotiations and Excitement:
After several phone negotiations with Gucci Mane's DJ at the time, DJ Champ, we sealed the deal. It was time to book flights and embark on this extraordinary journey. Gucci Mane had set up shop in sunny Miami, Florida, at the time, so that's where we headed. As the day approached, MDOT80 arrived early, eager to get started. However, I knew that this project required more than just my solo efforts or the help of my right-hand man, the late Gary Pinkston. A proper team had to be assembled, and we ensured there was at least one additional crew member, along with Gary.
Srt8Check's Role and Double Excitement:
Furthermore, Srt8Check requested a day's delay to finalize the mix of the track he had recorded with Gucci Mane earlier in September. His intention was to shoot his own music video with the rap sensation. Suddenly, my excitement doubled – what began as one video with Gucci Mane had now transformed into two.
A Series of Unfortunate Events:
The day we had all been waiting for finally arrived. DJ Champ was our direct contact with Gucci Mane and was in charge of coordinating the logistics for the day. He informed us that he and Gucci were at Birdman's Studio Hit Makers, so we input that address into the GPS and set off. However, upon arrival, we realized that this wasn't the studio we were supposed to be at. The GPS had led us astray, taking us to an entirely different studio on the opposite side of town.
Time is Money, Especially for Superstars:
This delay was unfortunate because artists of Gucci Mane's stature abhor waiting. Their time operates on a different plane, and understandably so. We eventually reached the correct studio, but it was already 5 PM. I introduced MDOT80 and his team to DJ Champ, and everyone began getting acquainted. Now it was time to handle the financial aspect of our agreement.
The Unexpected Cost:
Originally, the feature and video agreement with Gucci Mane was set at around $40,000. However, due to the delay caused by our initial mix-up, he demanded an additional $10,000 and expressed his reluctance to proceed with the video. This unexpected turn of events left me in a tight spot. Furthermore, Srt8Check, the original artist who had secured the feature, decided to contribute an extra $20,000 to ensure his video with Gucci Mane still happened, which he communicated to DJ Champ. In total, we handed Gucci Mane $70,000 – a testament to the perks of being a famous rapper.
Adaptation and Creative Collaboration:
Despite the initial setbacks, we managed to convince Gucci Mane to participate in an in-studio video with MDOT80. We swiftly collected the money from MDOT80, a process that involved rounding up debts from everyone in his crew. This, too, took some time, but we eventually counted the money in the backseat of a car and met up with Gucci Mane.
A Twist of Fate:
The studio sessions continued as Gucci laid down his verse and we filmed him in front of the microphone. The plan was to later blend these scenes with footage we would shoot with MDOT80 to create a compelling music video. However, the project had already deviated from our initial vision. Unfortunately, the second video featuring Srt8Check and Gucci Mane never materialized. Gucci's decision to cancel it came as a result of DJ Champ's departure to Los Angeles for a concert the following day. Gucci, it seemed, wasn't interested in proceeding without Champ's presence. This left Srt8Check without the video he had hoped for, and it left me with a new perspective on mainstream artists in the entertainment industry.
A Valuable Lesson Learned:
This entire experience taught us a valuable lesson about the importance of formal agreements and contracts in the entertainment business. While a handshake might symbolize trust, the world of entertainment often requires more concrete arrangements to ensure that dreams don't turn sour as quickly as they did for us during that memorable encounter with Gucci Mane. Conclusion: At YL Media Group, we've learned that every project, no matter how dreamy or star-studded it may seem, has its twists and turns. Our commitment to delivering exceptional music video production services remains steadfast, and we continue to create captivating visuals for artists from all walks of life. Join us for more incredible stories and behind-the-scenes insights as we navigate the ever-evolving world of music video production.