There is no question that the buzz surrounding Gucci Mane is as high as ever. One of the most popular rappers in the nation, the East Atlanta native has been working tirelessly to ascend the proverbial latter to Hip-Hop superstardom, with the current musical climate almost assuring that he will do just that. In spite of his success, there are those whom would rather see the rising star fizzle out before he has even reached the pinnacle of success, opting to stymie his efforts for reasons that they assume would benefit the greater good. Bob Langford, city commissioner for Albany, Georgia, is one of those people.
August 29th is the day that Albany is set to experience a snow storm with Gucci Mane scheduled to perform at the Albany Civic Center. The concert has nearly sold out and will be one of the most anticipated and biggest performances in the venue’s history. Still, in spite of the projected influx of revenue, Langford wants nothing to do with the concert and he would like it if his city did not either. In an email to city manager Alfred Lott and the director of the Civic Center, Langford vented his frustrations.
“I’m appalled…what do you need from me to keep this “entertainer” from performing at Albany’s Civic Center?” Even listening to some music from the Gooch could not sway him, leaving him only more dismayed and steadfast in his opinion. “This is not appropriate for our Civic Center.”
Countering the commissioner’s opinion is Gilbert Udoto, the organizer and promoter responsible for Gucci coming to the small Georgia town. According to him, city officials approached him, hoping that he would be able to secure a big-name act that could put on a huge show for the city. Speaking to local news outlet, WALB, Udoto fired back at the event’s detractors.
“It’s big. We haven’t had an artist of this magnitude in a long time. They talk about the Civic Center. You know we have not brought any acts here. Now we have an act that can sell tickets and now this is what we get.”
Gucci’s acquisition, which came with a whopping $40,000 price tag, is not an effort in the act of frivolity; rather, Udoto see this as a chance to use the rapper in an effort to preach the value of free speech.
Not one to truly back down, Commissioner Langford stated in an email that he would like to create a policy with specific guideline that future acts wishing to perform at the Civic Center would have to abide by, pending whether his issues with the rapper can be solved “in-house.”