Ask anyone who knew of Gucci Mane five years ago if they could have ever envisioned the success he is currently experiencing and the majority of answers would have ended in a laugh. Due to the unrelenting production of mixtapes, guest features, chart landing singles and, unfortunately, jail sentences, the buzz surrounding Radric Davis has done a complete 180°. This new found appreciation for the man and his music has led to an increased retail presence. Coming off 2009’s The State Vs. Radric Davis, Gucci’s newest creation, The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted looks to establish the ATL trapper as a force to be reckoned with on the mainstream circuit.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to analyze Gucci’s bread and butter. Anytime he can find himself over track rattling instrumentals lamenting his street life mentality, the outcome is normally a notch in the win column. The album’s opener, “Little Friend,” is a clear cut example of such. The Brick Squad General bathes in his hood splendor, channeling his inner Tony Montana with lines like “I coulda been a doctor, I shoulda been a lawyer/I been to court so much I coulda been my own employer.” A commanding Bun B verse riding shotgun helps the cause as well. After digesting this exact blueprint, The Appeal is certainly a top heavy CD with vintage La Flare tracks such as “Trap Talk” and “What’s It Gonna Be” both landing within the first five songs.
Things begin to go awry when the feeling of forced records begin to present themselves. While his Swizz Beatz produced and featured “Gucci Time” results in average at best, the album’s unequivocal lowpoint is “Remember When” featuring Ray J. Features aren’t the problem on a Gucci Mane album; ill placed features are. The Pharrell and Nicki Minaj-assisted “Haterade” will likely cause many to sip (and spit out) the same beverage whereas the second Swizz track–“It’s Alive”–do little to stimulate interest from any perspective.
Simply put, when Gucci hits, it’s close to undeniable. He and FATBOI could potentially strike gold again with the infectious cut “Party Animal” while his partnership with Estelle on “Grown Man” comes as a pleasant surprise to close out the hearing. When Gucci misses, however, it’s also undeniable, albeit from a completely different vantage point. In The Appeal, Georgia’s Most Wanted has an album which showcases his strengths and weaknesses, sometimes back-to-back. Where it ranks ultimately in his catalog is yet be seen. For his sake and his fans’, let’s just hope he can stay out the reach of the long arm of the law this time to properly promote it.