Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tray Loves The New Gucci Tape, Rap's Future

Actually how I eat every day in law school (minus the strawberries).

You know, I used to have all these declinist fears about rap. "Rap is declining! There will never be another Cuban Linx again! There will never be another Infamous/Critical Beatdown/Niggaz4life again!" And no, there won't be. It's possible there may never even be a rap album as good as any of those were again but in a completely different way. I certainly can't think of one in the last ten years. But there's still a shit ton of really good rapping out there, which is more than you can say, by analogy, for movies, American ones anyway. At least one can coherently mention Andre 3000 and Pill in the same paragraph; it's not entirely a, back then there were gods, today there are midgets situation. So my hopes for the future are brightened considerably by the new Gucci Mane tape.

Irony of alphabetical ironies, by the way, and one that I think is slightly telling; in my iTunes, Burrrprint 2 picks up where Group Home - 'Up Against The Wall (Getaway Car Mix)' to be exact - leaves off. Can't get much more different than that. There are a lot of stupid points one could make about this totally arbitrary comparison, including the obvious point that Gucci is 50 times the rapper that Malachi the Nutcracker, who is only tolerable over Premo beats (although I imagine that Gucci would be pretty lost on most Premo tracks, though I can imagine an interesting Gucci freestyle over 'Take It Personal'), was, yet real hip-hop heads will give Malachi and Dap a pass while still bizarrely at most giving Gucci props for making "fun shit to listen to while you're drunk," but on a less reactive and silly note, I think what the absurdity of just how damn different Gucci's Drumma Boy phone call from jail is from maybe Premo's best track ever points up is that rap is a big variegated genre and just as you wouldn't compare Beethoven to Dre's comparably paltry musical innovations and arrive at some grand conclusion about the unimportance of rap, we shouldn't compare rap across eras and ought to just let today's shit stand for whatever it is.

So about the actual tape. This is not, by my sadly limited knowledge of Gucci mixtapes, the best or one of the best things he ever did, though I would say it's a more fun listen than his album. There's way too much 'Gucci Speaks' and 'Shawty Lo Speaks' and 'Lil Kim Speaks' for that, a couple of these songs are less than inspired, there's a song where he sings that's utterly pointless. He occasionally fails to rap circles around people (Wacka, Rick Ross) whom he should be rapping circles around and at one point is distinctly outshined by Yo Gotti. No matter. Gucci is in one of those rapper zones where he could read from the phonebook, or even, horrors, Drake's rhymebook, and the shit would come off. Just hearing this guy say "Mi casa su casa patna" is worth the price of admission, and worth wading your way through Shawty Lo and Nikki's verses to hear him do the hook containing that phrase again. (In fact I'd pay a lot to hear him do an all-Spanish mixtape.) Same with the jailhouse pay phone intro which is largely indecipherable but still hypnotic anyway, to the point where I was kind of disappointed when the whole mixtape wasn't phone raps. The disdain conveyed when he says (something like) "if you think this shit gon' flop, go and jump in the OCEAN" in his slow flow is just tremendous. Of course, Gucci actually says tons of funny shit too, such as

I've got Caucasian neighbors, that's just how I rock

Multiply, divide me, then add on the remainder
I push more weight than a personal trainer

Preposterous for you to fathom how you could block this [what other non nerdy white rapper could toss off a line like this?]

Professor, but Gucci didn't graduate from college
Your girlfriend says my earrings are erotic

I pull up in that Spyder, strapped up like McGyver
Should've brought my Phantom out but I'm mad at my driver
He's so fucking [?, turned up?]
Riding on autopilot
Smoking kush, he smilin
He drinkin while he drivin

AC blowin, feel like it's snowin (brrrr!)
Now where I'm goin even I'm not knowin

I only fuck with bad bitches because I'm very picky

I am bossin, proceed with caution, 'cause I be flossin
I didn't do that feature with you because you're not important

You're funny, just like a dummy, without no eyelids

Gucci is a lot of things, but fo sho I'm not scared of you!

Yo yo, yo nose gon' grow, just like Pinocchio
You lyin that you hot as me but that is not the troath

So yeah, actually by Gucci's standards this tape is kind of lyrically weak (perhaps because it's basically composed of throwaways). But it's still a blast. Great beats too.


MF said...

God knows I've tried, but I can't listen to more than 2 or 3 Gucci songs in a row.

tray said...

Yeah I used to feel the same way. But I do honestly think he's a good rapper now.