DJ Highlights

Gucci Mane or Lil Wayne, Who Had the Bigger Influence?

Throughout all of hip hop history, there are only a few artists that fans will identify as the GOAT (greatest of all time). For this generation, the most widely agreed upon of these artists are; Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Gucci Mane, Kid Cudi, and Young Thug. Of these four, Gucci Mane and Lil Wayne undoubtedly have the most influence on today’s rap culture, but who has more? Lil Wayne is notorious for his cultural impact. In fact, on his latest album, The Carter V, the song Dedicate boosts some of his most notable achievements (in terms of influence) including both his physical and lyrical impact. The most apparent impact Lil Wayne has given to the culture is his name. Though Lil Wayne was actually the second rapper to put ‘Lil’ in front of his name (proceeding Lil Troy by only a year), he is definitely the reason behind the large population of ‘Lil’ rappers today which include; Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Baby, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, and countless others. Wayne was also one the first to make gang life cool (Behind Snoop Dogg). As bad as that sounds, before him, rappers did not often shout out gangs. Nowadays, there are thousands of rappers, underground and mainstream, who actively rep a gang whether they belong to it or not (like Young Thug for example with his constant mention of “Slime”, which is actually a gang reference). Wayne is also one of the first rappers to build a collaborative label run by artists in which all artists are successful (Young Money), which is seen now in labels like Quality Control and Bad Boy. More things that Wayne is credited for are; integrating face tats into rap culture and having merch develop into its own brand. He was notably also the first rapper to buy a Bugatti. This may seem like a lot of contributions yet when compared to those of Gucci Mane, it is hard to determine who had more. Though Lil Wayne is credited with integrating face tats into rap culture, Gucci Mane is credited with integrating face tats into pop culture. Before him, only gangster rappers would dare to tattoo their face but, after his notorious ice cream tattoo was displayed to the world, artists and icons everywhere seemed to start to get tattoos on their faces. Gucci’s largest contribution to the culture is Trap music. Gucci single-handedly created the Trap genre through rapping about trapping and making it sound cool for the first time. He also created the trap sound, emphasizing heavy beats and lyrics rather than melodies (you know what I’m talking about). Now don’t get me wrong, there was gangster rap before Gucci but, the act of trapping was never discussed and definitely never glorified. Through glorifying trap, Gucci inspired a new wave of artists to get rich through trapping and spend the money on a studio and other things to enhance their upcoming career. Gucci is also one of the first to make ad libs popular in rap culture. Through the iconic “BRR!”, we now have “SQUAD!”, “Thugger Thugger baby” and all of Migos’ various adlibs to name a few. Therefore, without Gucci, there would be no new wave of Atlanta music that hip hop is so fond of today. There would be no Young Thug, no Waka Flacka., no Young Nudy, no Migos, etc. So who had the bigger influence? Gucci or Wayne? I honestly have no clue.

-Lul Bulma