Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gucci Mane - The State vs. Radric Davis

After countless mixtapes and other endless appearances as guest rapper, Gucci Mane's first studio album for a major is a very schizophrenic affair but it also largely succeeds in presenting him as one of the most interesting rap artists currently around. Based on an idea of conflict which is expressed on its title, actually those conflicts don't happen solely on a "me vs. them" level: there's also an internal war going on in here, which takes place between the many sides of Gucci (real name - you guessed it - Radric Davis) and which is intriguing to say the least.
Basically, the first third of this record is the dirtier one, where everything is reduced to its bare essence to maximize its impact: the beats are raw and minimal, the hooks are basic and effective, the songs are tense and direct, and the results pretty awesome. The second part is a softer side of him (major label pressure? or his own need to express all sides of his creativity?), beginning with an amazing duet with Usher produced by Pollow da Don and ending after a session of irregular mid-tempo jams. The third part is the attempt to bring it all together, with the raw beats coming in again, but this time using a more diversified and lighter myriad of sounds. Your favourite side will probably depend on subjective things like personal preferences or even your momentary state of mind - though I'm tempted to say that I much prefer the dirtier first one, simply because it sounds more unique and far from an idea of conventional Top 40 r&b.
Let's see where he goes from here - as you see, the paths suggested by The State vs. Radric Davis are immense and pretty diverse. But as for now, we already have a major attribute, in his too-cool-for-its-own-good flow, with an unique way to drag the words and spit them from one hook to another, like if he was the owner of his own time. And judging from this debut-of-sorts (not counting the independent release Back to the Trap House in here, nor the many mixtapes), it's pretty convincing that yes, he is. (8/10)

Gucci Mane - Bingo (Feat. Soulja Boy & Waka Flocka Flame) (video)


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