Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir may have just wed in an extravagant ($1.7 million, to be exact) affair that will be part of a 10-part special on BET (Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir: The Mane Event), but their relationship wasn’t always so glamorous.
In The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, his memoir that was released last month, the Southern rapper, né Radric Davis, reveals the harrowing trials he put beauty mogul Keyshia Ka’oir, 32, through during his time in jail and as a result of his drug use (especially his addiction to “lean,” which is prescription cough syrup).
“‘Why the f— haven’t you come down here and bonded me out yet?'” Gucci Mane, 37, recalls screaming to his then-girlfriend two weeks after he’d been arrested and put in an isolation cell. The platinum-selling artist ended up serving three years for illegal possession of a firearm and was released on May 26, 2016.
“Keyshia had good reason to not want to help me out,” he continues in the book of his life-changing last arrest. “I’d gone crazy on her, first privately on the phone when she’d tried to talk me off the ledge and then on Twitter. But that wasn’t why Keyshia hadn’t come to bond me out. She’d taken every one of my phone calls since my arrest. Her phone bill was ridiculous from all my collect calls. Despite everything, she still wanted to help me. But Keyshia couldn’t get me out of jail.”
Gucci Mane was held because he had a pending assault case and had violated probation. While he reveals that this final stint in prison transformed him for the better (he went through withdrawal and lost almost 80 lbs. to impress Ka’oir), his evolution had been a long time coming.
The couple first met when Ka’oir was featured in a video in 2010. Ka’ior told Fader that she was originally hesitant to go out with the rapper, but eventually agreed to a date. Gucci Mane, on the other hand, was in love with her “on sight.”
Gucci Mane writes that he was drawn to her because “She was resilient. She was a survivor.” (Ka’oir’s father was killed and, in a separate incident, her brother died after a gun misfired.)
“We fell hard and fast for each other,” he writes. But that didn’t stop him from hiding aspects of his life from her.
In the book, he admits that he did try to “downplay” his “vices” because she didn’t do drugs. Before his last arrest, he writes that “I’d promised her I was done drinking lean, which was a lie, but as long as I stayed on point and didn’t let things spiral out of control she would have no reason not to believe me.”
But his life eventually did spin out of control and Ka’oir was there for him daily during his difficult journey to health. (While in jail, he writes that he was taken in for psychiatric evaluation and also discusses his “paranoia” and depression.)
“Gucci has always meant a lot to me. A lot of times, I feel like he’s misunderstood,” Ka’oir told Fader about the reason she stayed with the rapper while he was in jail. “I know that I’m one of the few people that really understands him. I was his biggest support system, and no matter what he goes through I’m going to be there for him. Why would I turn my back on him now?”
She describes talking to him “five or six times a day” on the phone and encouraging him to eat better while he was in jail. When he made bad food choices she said that she told him, “We want to lose the weight, we want to focus, we want to be sober, we want to be more business-minded. Your brand means a lot, your fans mean everything to you. You have to do great music, you’re a parent.”
Eventually, it clicked for him.
“For so long I’d felt like I’d been dealt a bad hand,” Gucci Mane writes of his initial reaction to being in jail again. “But prison is a humbling experience. It was hell in there and over time that made me start to appreciate all my blessings on the outside. I had a damn good life waiting for me.”
He lists the blessings in his life he cherishes the most: his career, his young son Bam (from a previous relationship), and Keyshia Ka’oir.
He popped the question at an Atlanta Hawks game in November 2016 and the tried and true couple are now husband and wife.
“I had Keyshia, my first real love. The first woman I ever wanted to bring to a red carpet and let the world know this was my lady,” he writes. “She held me down the whole time I was locked up and showed me what it means to have somebody you can truly count on. I wanted to be able to return the favor.”
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane is on sale now. The Mane Event airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on BET.