Review Summary: Clever wordplay, dark, electronic bounce, and an improved delivery on Gucci's part make The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D one of the top rap releases of '09.
“In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a converted diamond, conflict diamond, hot diamond, or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity, usually in Africa.”
- taken from the Wikipedia page on blood diamonds.
In Greg Campbell’s 2001 non-fiction book Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones
, the terrors of the African blood diamond trade were documented to a graphic extent. As I read at age thirteen, stories of innocent people’s forearms being amputated in white, hot rage by rebels wielding dull machetes as punishment for unsatisfying working paces ran counter to every decent human value my parents taught me. I reasoned that, at least, that wouldn’t happen in America; that people wouldn’t be senselessly murdered over shiny, little rocks. Boy, was I
wrong. In May of 2005, rapper Gucci Mane was arrested on first degree murder charges after he gunned down an assailant who had broken into his home in an attempt to steal his ‘So Icey’ diamond necklace. The rapper who’s birth name is Radric Davis was acquitted but eventually jailed due to violation of parole stemming from the incident. The stint in jail was one in a long, likely unfinished, chain of intermittent, yet lengthy prison sentences for the rapper. The mixtape king hit the studio and released a slew of mixtapes, The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D
being the most critically acclaimed of them all. Not dissimilar to the uneventful incident that occurred one early May 2005 morning, Gucci’s lyrical content is emblemized by the ideology that money is the root of all happiness, and if wealth may be obtained or preserved through criminal means, so be it. Although not an original (or deep) stance on lyrics, the manner in which Gucci Mane conveys this is what separates him from the rest of materialistic rappers hailing from the south, and The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D
perhaps showcases this the best.
Obviously Gucci won’t wield lyrical swords like GZA, drop science like Rakim, or weave street poetry like Nas, but he does offer arguably the finest dope boy lyrics available with his seemingly never-ending arsenal of punchlines and creative wordplay that keeps you on your toes. He doesn’t just say his car is better than yours, he says “Like a pigeon in the sky, I just sh*tted on your ride.
” He equates the price of his jewelry to other possessions rather than numeric values; his watch didn’t cost him $267,000, it cost him a Bentley, his ring didn’t cost him $9,000, it cost him a brick. He doesn’t arrive at the club in a Lambo, he “hops out of [his] drop top Lambo like a kangaroo.
” Then, you have his ridiculous proclamations on top of that, such as “You are not the owner/Of that car, that is a loaner/I got money stacks as tall as you, ‘cause that’s just my persona.
”The ability to take a small number of shallow, basic topics and present them using a surplus of complex, fun ways is what makes Gucci Mane a gifted writer.
Of course, being backed by an impressive array of instrumentals always helps. Keeping the general superb quality of his previous instrumentals and delving into a darker sound, Gucci Mane’s backdropping production on The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D
is dark, squeaky clean, and theatric. Gucci Mane struts over icy synths and uptempo tit drums on nearly every track. “My Shadow” features hyperactive, twinkly synths that dance around Gucci’s vocals, and “Dope Boys” has an epic synth runaround that could, quite possibly, be the crème of Gucci’s career production crop.
Having been the primary concern of Gucci Mane’s questionable early career attributes, his flow is no longer painfully substandard. A vocal 180º turnaround is seen on The Burrprint: The Movie 3-D
, as Gucci quit rapping while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and can be found delivering rather uptempo raps. The slur is still present, although diminished and used as an advantage in places (e.g. “I’mma ride ‘er like Winona
The pitfall behind this mixtape is DJ rewinds, shoutouts, and general mixtape filler. The intro is rather funny, and the “Gucci Speaks” tracks, although unnecessary, aren’t overbearingly long or winceworthy. However, “Frowney Face,” an otherwise good song doesn’t really start until about a minute in, and “Trap Goin’ Crazy” and “Yelp I Got All of That” suffer from awkward delivery formats. “More” the only truly bad song, is a mushy R&B cut, and “Candy Lady” is unsatisfyingly short at a little over a minute.
Music is intended to be fun, and Gucci is just that. He makes no qualms about the lyrical content or the album’s identity through the chorus on “Yelp I Got All of That’” – “Flex, sex, drugs and money, cars, clothes, and plenty of women, yep I got all of that.
” But Gucci’s fun adlibs, clever lyrics, and infectious beats should be enough to win you over.