Gucci Mane returns to retail with his third major release and the follow up to his Warner Brothers debut, Gucci Mane-The State Vs. Radric Davis, The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted. He brings with him a whole team of guests, presumably to cover his lyrical and mechanical shortcomings, but the overarching effect of so many guests is the dilution of what makes Gucci special.
Bun B opens the album, riding shotgun on “Little Friend” which furthers Hip-Hop’s love affair with Tony Montana. Bun’s double rhyme patter is easily the star of the track, but Gucci holds his own. The tone (and basically the production) carries over on “Trap Talk” which features every cliché, beat and lyrics wise,that you expect to hear with that title.
That hardcore Gucci aesthetic is present on “Making Love To The Money,” “Dollar Sign” (I’m so fucking paid I’m gone buy the dollar sign), “Party Animal” and “Weirdo.” All tracks feature that double snare those booming drums and brass elements. There are subtle changes but they all capture the essence of hard core Gucci Mane. Weirdo in particular features a surprisingly coherent narrative and is perhaps Gucci’s best lyrical performance on the album.
Where the album deviates are his collaborations, particularly his collaborations with Swizz Beatz. “It’s Alive” begins with grand synths and those patented Swizz handclaps. The song lacks the force that makes Gucci Mane’s music what it is. Swizz’s pedestrian raps don’t help any. Their other collaboration, “Gucci Time” has that southern rhythm but there is too much ambient noise going on and more club pandering.
The Pharell produced Nicki Minaj featured “Haterade” finds Pharell singing over a construction that’s really too complex Gucci. There are too many concurrent rhythms and Gucci’s vocal style is just not built to really take advantage of this. Minaj however jumps all over the track with her presence and assertively handles it in a way that Gucci couldn’t. The Ray J collaboration “Remember When” features elementary lyricism, even for Gucci, and feels like it was written in crayon. Guccis attempt at a faux double time flow fials and Ray-J’s delivery of R Kelly type lyrics with a late 80s R&B delivery fails.
Surprisingly credible is the Estelle duet “Grown Man” where Gucci succeeds at the double time flow and is vocally strong as well is Gucci mans’ heart-felt confessional verse. This closing number is loaded with actual emotion from Gucci and is well done.
There are a few songs on The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted that are too similar and a few too many pop reaches that lead to Gucci stepping too far outside his realm. While Minaj and Pharell count as a victory, Wyclef and Ray J count as a loss. When he sticks to his guns, Gucci Mane is fully capable of keeping speaking busting and his followers fulfilled.
Gucci Mane Feat. Swizz Beatz-Gucci Time
Gucci Time feat. Swizz Beatz –
out of 5
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