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As an obvious fit, XXL granted Gucci Mane and Young Thug the latest cover of their magazine. Both Wop and Thugger sat down with the squad for video interviews that are set to hit the ‘Net next week. For now, let your eyes gaze on a few flicks of the mentor and protege team after the jump.

Update: XXL has released a video interview with Gucci and excerpts from his cover story.

Continue below…

The following quotes were pulled from Guwop’s XXL cover story.

On His Toxic Past
“During that time, I was just toxic. I really was just high as hell, out my mind. And I don’t blame…I’m not using the drugs as an escape. It was me. I was in a bad place and I was just so high that I felt like in my mind at the time, like, maybe the only way I could feel good, maybe if I hurt somebody else. I was just that frustrated and that stressed out. I had like six open cases, so it was like, could nobody do right. Everybody was wrong. You know what I’m saying? Even if you was trying to help me, you ain’t do it quick enough. Your timing was off. You really don’t care. You were being manipulative or you just doing it to get something outta me. I just seen things through a clouded lens, so the whole Twitter rant was an example of a person just self-destructing.”

On Quitting Drugs
“If you would’ve told me before I went to jail that I could stop drinking lean and smoking weed…I knew people could do that and I had heard stories of that, but I never wanted to do that. I never ever wanted to not be high. I enjoyed doing it so much so…but I was thinking about putting my plan together, after, like, a year of being away from drugs, it became part of my plan. The way I’m handling business now and the way I think now is way more sharper than how I was before. Maybe if I don’t do that, that’ll keep me from keep going back and forth to jail. I just kept building on that and making that a part of my life. Once I embraced that, it just made me treat everything different. And I think that’s why I’m getting better results now ’cause my whole approach is just different.”

On His Protégé, Young Thug
“I always used to tell Thug, ‘You signed to me, but at the end of the day, you the boss of Young Thug Entertainment. You Young Thug Records like I’m Gucci Records. I gotta manage me. If somebody tell me to be somewhere, I gotta make sure I’m there. Can’t nobody make sure I’m there but me.’ I used to always preach that to them. Don’t think just because somebody may be the financier right now, things change. You might be on a way bigger level than me or whoever behind you, but you got to handle yourself like you a business, like you a brand, so that everybody that meet you be like, ‘I want to do business with this guy. He talented, but at the same time, he understand what’s going on.’”

On the New Atlanta Hip-Hop Scene
“There’s a different sound to some of the stuff that’s going on. I’m forcing myself to like it because, it’s different. It’s not what I grew up listening to. It’s not the stuff I would generally play in my car, but if everybody else like it, who am I to say they’re stupid or that they’re wrong? …Yeah, so that’s kinda how it ended up, like if I keep saying that it’s stupid, then that means the next four, five artists that’s hot, I don’t sign them. I don’t got no part in what they got going on because I alienate myself. So, I’m forcing myself to see what’s going on now. I be like, They’re creative. They’re smart. They’re marketing themselves. 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.”

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via XXL:

For the new issue, the two artists both sat with XXL to talk about their journeys to stardom—including some of the bumps they have hit along the way—their history with each other, thoughts on the current hip-hop landscape and personal focuses for the future. Gucci, who has been somewhat absent from hip-hop for the past three-plus years, due to a federal prison bid, also discusses his life before the jail sentence and what he had to do to change himself and succeed when he got out. Thug, who has found comfort in the world of fashion, also talks about how that fits in his budding career and what it means for himself and hip-hop.

Also in the issue are special stories on Lil’ Kim’s 20th anniversary of her debut album, Hard Core, and a look back at the first days of Kim and Foxy Brown. Plus, XXL catches up with hit maker Rich Homie Quan, new jocks Young M.A, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Cousin Stizz and much more.

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