Inspired by Gucci's "First Day Out Tha Feds," here's a round-up of all the major post-prison comeback tracks that have been dropped over the past several years.
Yesterday was a truly bizarre day in hip-hop. It started with news of a shooting at a T.I. concert the night before in New York, and reports soon connected to the incident to Troy Ave, as the NYPD caught footage of the Brooklyn rapper opening fire in a VIP green room. That footage was released to the public, and Troy has since been arrested on charges of attempted murder, among others. Ultimately, though, it was a joyous day, made possible by the surprise return of Gucci Mane, who had been locked up in an Indiana penitentiary for almost three years.
During that time, he kept his name in the game by releasing more music from behind bars than just about any rapper with his freedom still intact. He was the subject of many tribute tracks while he was incarcerated, and just about every rapper in Atlanta, stars and young talents alike, paid him homage at one time or another. Still, it's hard to keep up with a constantly changing music scene while confined to a cell in the middle of nowhere. While the rap world celebrated his homecoming, Gucci was intent on starting up right where he left off by cooking up some fresh dope in a fully tricked-out ATL studio. He had some bars prepped for the occasion, and all he needed was a beat, which one of his closest collaborators, Mike Will Made-It, was more than willing to supply.
"First Day Out Tha Feds" is certainly an example of an effective comeback track for a man who's been separated from his craft for far too long. In making the track, Wop faced the pressure of pleasing his longtime fans along with the challenge of sounding fresh in a vastly different climate. He delivered on both counts, but what makes the track special is the energy in his voice and his flow -- the pain and suffering of the past few years combined with the excitement of returning home to a city that loves him is a potent and gratifying force.
Gucci is far from the first big-time rapper to spend time in jail and come out with the intent of proving himself as an even stronger competitor. Over the past several years, rappers such as Lil Wayne and T.I. have wasted no time assimilating back into the free world after lengthy stints in the pen, instead using new music to make it as if they never left. Here is a recent history on the art of the post-prison comeback track. Of the tracks that follow, tell us your favorites in the comments.