Gucci Mane just did a comprehensive new interview with XXL for their Fall 2016 cover story, and his complete interview is now up on YouTube. The conversation details the low point he hit before he went to prison, beating his addictions, and the story of his relationship with Young Thug, who shares the cover with Guwop.

One of the more interesting points in the interview is when Gucci reveals he signed Thug without hearing any of his music. According to Gucci, he had made plans to work with Peewee Longway, who he knew from his hustling days. When they did meet up, Peewee vouched for Thug and the rest is history.

“When Pewee got to the studio, Peewee brought Thug and two other guys… Peewee is like ‘Gucci listen, they hard, they’re the ones who got me to start rapping, sign them!’ I had a bag with some money and got $25,000 out and I signed Thug right there. Never even heard a song from him … I value Peewee’s opinion so much … From that day on, Thug didn’t leave the studio, he spent the night there. He’d have 30 people in the studio, but he’d never leave.”

Apparently, there was one moment in particular that sold Gucci on Thug. “I already had Scooter and I was working with Dolph,” he said. “I didn’t really know what I had with Thug, I was just taking a chance. A week later I was like ‘oh, he’s a star.’ Once we did [a] video, and I seen Thug doing the video, I’m like ‘he a star, he outta here,’ and I started putting more focus on him.”

Later on, Gucci admitted to not fully understanding some of the new artists coming out of Atlanta, but he’s made a point of keeping an open mind towards new music. “They’re creative. They’re smart. They’re marketing themselves,” he said of the new wave. “They some little geniuses. That’s how I’m thinking now, so when I see them, “Hey, I like what you got going on” and I’m not being fake about it even if I’m not the biggest fan of their music or whatever.”

Watch the full interview below. Read further excerpts from the interview at XXL.

Gucci Mane

Gucci Mane Says He Signed Young Thug Before Hearing His Music