I never hated Gucci Mane, I just didn’t understand him. Every popular artist has a hook, something they do better or differently than everyone else, but if Gucci had a hook I couldn’t find it. His rhyme skills are mediocre, his voice isn’t anything special, he’s not particularly charismatic and his style’s certainly nothing new. So why did I hear “brrrrr” every time I turned on the radio? And then I had an epiphany. Nachos. You know how at ball games they sell those nachos slathered in a cheese that’s only cheese in the loosest …
DJBooth Album Review
Actually, Gucci owes his career to more than just nachos, he’s also hustles hard. Following the blueprint Lil Wayne laid out in ’08, Gucci decided to do a verse for anyone who would let him, slowly but surely ensuring that his mumbled flow became omnipresent and building some serious hype around the release of his third studio album, The State vs. Radric Davis. It seemed like nothing could stop Gucci’s rise to fame, except, ironically, the state; or more accurately, Gucci’s inability or unwillingness to follow parole. So now, as the biggest moment of his career arrives, the most important numbers Gucci will have to memorize will be on the front of his uniform, not the Billboard charts. Unlike T.I. or Weezy, I don’t think Gucci can keep the momentum going over a 12 month prison sentence, but that’s the future. In the here and now we have a big, hot boat of nachos in front of us called The State vs. Radric Davis, and whether or not you choose to eat it depends a lot on how seriously you take your hip-hop health.
Those who either don’t give a f**k or see nothing wrong with occasionally indulging will have plenty to digest on Radric Davis. As long as we’re talking about unhealthy habits, we might as well start with Wasted, a track whose swagger, huge Southern beat and catchy hook is indicative of the album as a whole. Wasted’s actually an alcoholic anthem I could get down to - if my mouth was properly lubricated – if it weren’t for Plies, who submits a guest verse so aggravating it makes Gucci sound like Nas. I’ll take Stupid Wild over Wasted any day, thanks in no small part to an absolutely monstrous beat from Bangladesh, a memorable verse from Weezy F. and a decent contribution from Cam. Replace Gucci with Luda and this track’s a beast, but as is it’s still one of the best guilty pleasure bangers to drop in a minute. What’s more, even the most-hardened anti-Guccites have to admit that Spotlight’s a damn good club track, even if it owes its success more to Urrsher’s always smooth vocals and hypnotic Polow da Don production. I can give credit where credit is due; they can never say that Gucci never made a crossover hit, even if I’m still oddly confused by some of Spotlight’s lyrics: “If she was a prostitute than I would have to pay.” (Um, yeah, that’s a prostitute all right.) From the Ricky Ross assisted All About the Money to the absurdly titled but irresistibly catchy Bingo, Gucci never strays far from his comfort zone, and that’s probably for the best. I don’t want organic blue cheese on my nachos.
Those who can’t stomach the thought of an entire Gucci Mane album won’t regret passing up The State vs. Radric Davis. Edited down this actually could have been a solid album, but at 23 tracks (plus three terrible skits), there’s far too much filler here. Shirt Off might just be the worst song since, well, LOL Smiley Face (coincidence?), and even Keyshia Cole can’t save Bad, Bad, Bad, a track with a great chorus but barely listenable verses. Similarly, I had high hopes for Sex in Crazy Places, another track with guilty pleasure written all over it, but while R. Kelly would have made a song with a title like this a classic, Gucci plus Nicki Minaj plus Trina plus a laughable hook from Bobby V only equals skip. Still, as surprised as I am to find myself writing this, in the right mood I’d pick and choose my way through this album. So the question isn’t how good is The State vs. Radric Davis? The question is, how hungry are you?
DJBooth Rating - 2.5 Spins
Written by Nathan S. on 12/9/09
1017 Brick Squad/Warner Bros.
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