Gunna Used ‘The Bittersweet Tour’ To Truly Be ‘One Of Wun’

Though it doesn’t appear on his latest album One Of Wun, Gunna’sBittersweet” couldn’t be more representative of his current era. With somber guitar strums as the backdrop, Gunna reflects on life’s past dealings, his reluctant acceptance of it, and how it all changed his outlook on fame, optimism towards better days, ability to trust, and much more. If the Atlanta rapper’s 2023 album A Gift & A Curse was a comeback album of sorts, re-establishing Gunna as a beloved artist and granting him a song of the summer title thanks to “F*kumean,” then One Of Wun solidifies and cements the artist that emerged from the YSL RICO trial fire which changed the way many fans and collaborators viewed the rap star.

Gunna approaches the record like a winter breeze – dry, straightforward, and undeterred by the circumstances. “Got me a taste of this fame, it was sweet, now it’s bitter,” he quips on “Bittersweet” before expounding on this point with lines like “Careful with your choices ’cause you can’t make it twice” and “N****s show they hate before they do something positive.” It’s only fitting that Gunna’s now-concluded The Bittersweet Tour shares a name with the somber pre-One Of Wun single. The month-long run of shows proved that Gunna’s status as a top-level hip-hop figure was still intact despite the snitching allegations he weathered and has continued to since his winter 2022 prison release.

Gunna was supposed to celebrate these moments with the same cast of peers-turned-brothers that he was often beside from the underground days of Drip Season 2 to his breakout with Drip Season 3 to his chart-topping moments with DS4EVER. Nowadays, these names, which include Lil Baby, Young Thug, Lil Durk, Future, and others are not only nowhere to be found beside Gunna, but they’ve also seemingly taken a stance next to Young Thug and the snitching allegations lodged against Gunna. These, among other things, are where the bittersweet feelings Gunna speaks from are rooted in. Just recently, after Gunna confirmed that he is still signed to YSL Records, Young Thug, the label’s founder, seemingly responded in a tweet, writing, “whateva wham say goes.” “Wham” is a nickname for Lil Baby which led to fans resurfacing a video of Baby at a music video shoot where it appears that he dissed Gunna. “N****s taking pleas, I know that Slime ain’t happy,” Baby raps in the video. Everything changed for the Atlanta star, just as things were getting good for him. If that isn’t bittersweet, I don’t know what is.

Back against the wall and with resources thinner than usual, Gunna came back swinging with A Gift & A Curse and One Of Wun, projects that impressed and showcased his ability to stand above adversity and triumph above critics. First-time collaborations with the likes of Normani, Tyla, IDK, Leon Bridges, Victor Thompson, and Sarz replaced his work with once-frequent collaborators mentioned earlier. DS4EVER teased this, but Gunna’s work with these artists added a new layer of diversity to his artistry. His style is unique and present in enough ways to be paired with artists in different lanes. Additionally, it proved that Gunna is a sought-after artist who will not fade into the background anytime soon.

The Bittersweet Tour is proof of this, too. Though the tour is highly similar to his A Gift and A Curse 2023 one-off shows in New York and Los Angeles, respectively, bringing these performances nationwide allowed fans who stuck by Gunna to see that a new era for the rapper is in progress. Furthermore, Gunna gave attendees a slew of memorable moments to walk out with by the end of the night. There was the silky smooth pairing of “South To West” and “On One Tonight” tied together by a satisfying transition, the performances of beloved YSL collaborations like “Hot,” “Ski,” “Pushin P,” “Oh Okay,” and more, and the explosive transition between “F*kumean” and “Rodeo Dr” brought to life for everyone who loved the experience it offered on A Gift & A Curse. There was something for every Gunna fan on The Bittersweet Tour.

After a string of electric performances, Gunna ends The Bittersweet Tour performances with a period of reflection through performances of his more introspective songs. Accounts of drug addictions which led to health scares and his current healthy lifestyle are given through “Livin Wild.” Next is “Time Reveals, Be Careful What You Wish For,” a two-part track that begins as a rags-to-riches tale for Gunna, tied with the newfound realization of life’s true meaning, before winding into a cautionary tale about the perils of fame. “Who You Foolin,” a fan-favorite, follows as it disposes of Gunna’s naivety and highlights his longtime experience in the game. Finally, the night closes with Victor Thompson & Ehis ‘D’ Greatest’s “Blessings” which Gunna remixed last year. The record is anchored by a line the trio sings together: “Everything I’ve been wanting, manifesting for my life.” Gunna has everything he’s worked towards attaining for the better part of a decade, and though it was nearly taken from him, it’s overcoming these hardships that allow you carry a title like “One Of Wun.” Gunna is that, and though it’s bittersweet, it’s still good enough to relish in. A smile and a wave goodbye to fans in attendance at the The Bittersweet Tour proves that he’s doing just that.