Review Summary: Obviously, the state of Georgia doesn't like good hip-hop. Because, if they did, they'd release Gucci so HE could release quality mixtapes. Two fifteen-minute sessions a week for a few months won't result in a quality product.
In the typical year, Atlanta sees thirty-six days with frost, and two inches of snow. Meteorologists have attributed 91.667% of the frosty days and 1.8 inches of the snow to a local hip-hop artist who goes by the stage moniker “Gucci Mane.” With his vast collection of ice-encrusted jewelry and massive volumes of cocaine in his possession, the man whom’s birth name is Radric Davis has been deemed responsible for 9.04% of the cold days that occur in the humid subtropical climate of Atlanta, Georgia. Meteorologists expect the number of cold days in Atlanta to increase drastically in the months following Gucci Mane’s release from Fulton County Jail.
Ever since day one of his hip-hop career, Gucci Mane has seemed practically incapable of producing a thoroughly good record. Consistently plagued by unnecessarily long run-times, a poor choice of guest performers, and the ever-present factor of filler tracks, La Flare has yet to release a generally flawless album. Burrprint! 3D
and The State vs. Radric Davis
are both excellent albums, and were huge steps in the right direction. However, both minorly suffered from at least one of the aforementioned burdens each. And just as it seemed like Gucci Mane would capitalize on all the brimming talent he has, he got incarcerated for parole violation.
Admittedly, you can’t come to expect much in way of a man who is recording and writing songs in prison. But, nonetheless, this is a tremendous step down from his past two efforts. Featuring not only flaws from the previously discussed list of such, but – surprisingly enough – lyrical and topicality issues.
When he first entered the profession, Gucci struggled with his delivery. With his thick, southern drawl – that borderlines on being a speech impediment – and molasses-slow delivery, he received heavy criticism for his amateur, and what some called indecipherable, rapping style. With major improvements having been made since the autumn of 2007, Gucci Mane doesn’t struggle with any vocal problems in the least. It’s quite the contrary. He pushes the pace on “Atlanta Zoo” and succeeds in his minor experimentation with autotune. Rather, what has always been his forte is what slows down this album the most.
Always having been a dope boy lyricist who heavily relied on punchlines, similes, and metaphors, Gucci Mane displays some exceedingly poorly written lyrics on this album. Sorry, but punchlines like “hot like boiling water” arent good at all, Gucci. Moreover, what was a slight transition into mainstream topics has transformed into a brisk pace downwards. If Burrprint! 3D
was the equivalent of selling crack rocks, Burrrprint 2 (HD)
is the equivalent of buying shiny carbon rocks. Occasionally, he compensates for rather un-showmanly lyricism with intermediate-level extended rhyme schemes and internal rhymes, but the former outweighs and out-frequents the latter too greatly for his lyrics to be considered on-par with his highly-set career standards.
Now it’s time for the good news. As always, Gucci Mane’s beats are spectacular. But, interestingly, and fittingly, enough, the typical bouncy, electronic beats aren’t present here. Other than the tropical, reggae-pop vibe to “Anti-Social” and the synth-y, pop bounce of “Here We Go Again,” “Parked Outside” and “Do This Sh*t Again,” Burrrprint 2 (HD)
is embedded with the darker, grittier, and eerier production that was seen on Burrprint! 3D
. The dark pianos and the chopped & screwed, high-pitched whining of the intro track serve as a precursor to the moody instrumentals that appear later on. The mystical chimes and deep, muted grinding of “Everybody Looking” serve as a perfect contrast to the (relatively) up-beat cranking and subtle, angry keyboarding of “Atlanta Zoo.”
Burrrprint 2 (HD) is filled to the brim with filler (13 minutes, 59 seconds [or roughly 20%] of the album is occupied by ‘so-and-so’-speaks/intro/outro tracks and there’s a posse cut that takes up eight and a half minutes); bad guests such as Jim Jones, Trey Songz, OJ da Juiceman, Rick Ross, and Shawty Lo; and scattered rewinds and shoutouts courtesy of DJ Holiday. Essentially the inverse of the stylistic beginnings of his career, Burrrprint 2 (HD)
sports production for the hood and lyrics for the club, as opposed to the hood lyrics and club production that can be found in songs from earlier in his earlier career. The fact that this topped as the #1 hip-hop release on both iTunes and Rhapsody troubles me even further, as it may encourage Gucci Mane to further delve into the exotic topical indulgences and lyrical lethargy of the mainstream. Maybe if he had more time and more freedom, this would be a better effort, but alas it’s not. Just another reason to…