Gucci Mane has dropped a new track called “Dissing the Dead,” in which he forthrightly deals with the ugly hip-hop trend of going after people who have died. Gucci has good reason for taking a personal interest in this trend: He’s the one who started it. Now, as GQ notes, it sounds like he’s trying to put an end to it.
It all goes back to one of modern hip-hop’s most notorious feuds. In 2005, Gucci shot and killed Pookie Loc, an affiliate of Jeezy’s who had tried to brake into a house Gucci was staying at. This was near the beginning of Gucci’s ascent in hip-hop, and he was in the middle of a serious feud with his fellow Atlanta rapper Jeezy. On a diss track, Jeezy said he’d give $10,000 to anyone who stole Gucci’s diamond chain. Not long after, some masked men attempted to enter the place Gucci was crashing at, and Pookie ended up dead.
Gucci turned himself into the police (one day before the release of his debut album, no less), but murder charges were dropped after numerous witnesses said Gucci had only fired in self defense. In the ensuing years, Gucci has taken a few opportunities to put Pookie on blast on a number of different tracks.
The trend has continued with other, younger rappers doing the same thing, leading to the popularization of the “smoking on Tooka” meme — a joking reference to the shooting death of Shondale “Tooka” Gregory in Chicago. Tooka’s mother has been outspoken about how painful it’s been to see the death of her son turned into a meme, and her advocacy appears to be helping shut that down.
Now, Gucci himself is urging others rappers to not make the same mistake he did. As he wraps on “Dissing the Dead,”
I know my tongue is a sword,
I know I should be more careful with s*** that I said
I feel like I started a trend that’s never gon’ stop