The hip-hop star, real name Radric Davis, had been struggling with heavy drug use when he was imprisoned for weapons and assault charges in 2014, and it wasn't until he was forced to go without illegal substances in prison that he was finally able to tackle his abuse issues.

Gucci Mane, who had once previously attempted to get clean in a rehab facility, admits the process to kick his drug habit proved difficult for him as withdrawal felt like "death".

"Your body just craving (drugs) bad," he adds to The New York Times. "Stomach tore up (sic), can't think straight. Just mad at the world. Temper so short, so violent, so aggressive. So just rude and toxic."

The 36-year-old admits he had not been sober since he was a teenager, and he blames many of his legal issues over the past 15 years on his past drug use.

"I felt like I couldn't make music sober, I couldn't enjoy my money sober," he says. "Why would I wanna go to a club and couldn't smoke or drink? I felt like sex wouldn't be good sober. I associated everything with being high. In hindsight I see it for what it was: I was a drug addict. I was naive to the fact that I was numb."

"I can't say I felt happy my last six, seven years in the music business," he continues. "I was just numb. You told me that I was doing good (sic) or told me I was doing bad, you hated me or loved me, either which way I greeted with nonchalance. It was sincere nonchalance - like, I really didn't care."

After the initial battle with withdrawal, the rapper, who walked free in May (16) after spending almost two years behind bars, turned to self-help books and his faith to help him work through his issues.

"I'm my own therapist," he says. "I been (sic) changed from before I even got out. People seeing now the effect of how I started thinking from maybe early 2014."

Gucci Mane is now focused on his health and has changed his diet and exercise habits to help him remain svelte after losing "dozens" of pounds behind bars. And he is also focusing on his career, releasing his ninth studio album, Everybody Looking, on Friday (22Jul16) after coming up with lots of new material in prison.

He adds, "I made like a pact to myself: When I get out, no matter what happens, I must record these songs..."