The “debates” I have been in regarding Gucci Mane mainly consist of me listening and the other party venting frustrations. Their claims center around how his inferiority in a studio produce reprehensible acclaim and notoriety. And truthfully, that is valid to an extent. He has his faults like any other rapper, albeit Radric’s are more evident at times. Still, I’ve never once compared him to Scarface, either member of Outkast, 8Ball & MJG, UGK or any other Southern legend. There was never a need to mainly because of my specialization in the thought process of appreciating more than one artist for more than one reason. The 1017 H.N.I.C. has been able to carve out a lane only few before and after him mastered with relative success. He’s a trapper. He’s a rapper. He’s a trapper and a rapper whose subject matter is best when not extended past sex, money, drugs, street dealings and the occasional Zaytoven/Fat Boi/Mr. Boomtown-conspired instrumentals.
However, Gucci’s biggest obstacle hasn’t been critics. It hasn’t been another rapper. It’s been himself.
Over the years, I have told anybody willing to listen that Radric Davis should be a bigger star than what he is. At the very least, the proprietor of a more polished catalog. Not many reasons exist as to why Gucci’s career is not being marginally framed in the same manner as, say, a Curren$y, by focusing more on the sound rather than the mainstream appeal. For as odd as it reads, “Wasted” may have been a telling detriment because of the leeway it afforded for the selection of future singles based off his massive buzz at the time by those not fully immersed in Gucci’s history. The Fat Boi-crafted anthem was the type of record those familiar with the rapper knew he could make and had been cultivating for years with relative ease. But, as seen with his last two albums, there is no middle ground for Gucci Mane, nor should there be.
Catering to whatever outside voices only led to the creation of the free-falling, used-condom-quality material like this and this. And sweet Trap Jesus, who could forget this? Gucci found success in his simplicity and proves to be a prime example of how diversifying a portfolio does not necessarily equal gold or platinum plaques. As soon as he and the suits at Warner Brothers realize making street music is what got him to the plate, then and only then will we stop seeing Gucci strike out swinging whenever a “major label release” is on the horizon. Just be Gucci. Just be ignorant. That’s it and that’s all. Waka did it and he walked away with five hit singles.
Also, I’m unsure if Fulton County Jail is equipped with a wi-fi connection and P.F. Changs-type menu now, but sooner or later, and it could already be too late, he has to have some sort of epiphany realizing the back and forth trips to incarceration must stop; even if it takes rewarding himself with a new tattoo each month he stays on the sunny side of the law. Something, anything. The first time it’s easy to get away with the tag of being “a real n*gga.” The next six and you run the risk of looking like a “dumb n*gger.” Notice the difference of how each was spelled. At this juncture, I feel justified in expecting him to catch another case anywhere between Halloween and the week before Christmas. He’s Hip-Hop’s version of a bear – work during the summer and sleep during the winter.
What do I know though (and that’s not even being sarcastic)? I’m just playing armchair A&R. Complaining is futile seeing as how we are bound to see Writing On The Wall 2 and his co-parterned project with Waka, Ferrari Boyz, in the coming weeks. The former of which can be found below for your listening pleasure. Or discouragement, whatever side of the fence you’re on.
Previously: Fame As A Ferris Wheel: On Gucci Mane And Lil B