Gucci Mane - So Icy Summer Music Album Reviews

Buried somewhere in this overstuffed, 80-minute crew compilation is Gucci’s best album in years.

Since his 2016 release from prison, Gucci Mane has been more of a self-help guru than a trap star. The ventures that he prioritized this year are a new book called The Gucci Mane Guide to Greatness and the label compilation Gucci Mane Presents: So Icy Summer, featuring a brand-new roster of artists on his revamped imprint The New 1017. The two projects seem to share a principle: providing insight to those who might benefit from it. “I’m in a better place than I ever been in my life, even though the world deteriorating around me,” he told XXL. “I want to share [with new artists]. I feel like I got a lot of knowledge. That’s what you can be charitable with.” It’s an admirable cause, and one reflective of the new and improved Gucci, who has become a model of rehabilitation. But on the compilation, his charity comes at his own expense, as an otherwise-inspired Gucci album is bogged down by his attempts to uplift lesser rappers.
Most of the music Gucci Mane has released in his second act feels like a supplement to his narrative, and not the focus. It has been easy to ignore and easier still to forget, especially for a prolific rapper with a massive back catalog of impressive mixtapes. The music centering him here is the first to feel essential to his rap legacy since he came back from jail. He writes and raps like a veteran recounting war stories, reliving the glories of victory and the traumas imposed by violence. Buried somewhere in this overstuffed, 24-song, 80-minute crew compilation is his best album in years.

When Gucci was first released, there was a ridiculous (albeit hilarious) conspiracy theory that the newly healthy and fit Guwop was actually a clone. The unsavory implication was that a problematic rapper can’t change unless genetically modified. The truthers needn’t look any further for proof of his realness than this album, which finds him refining longtime tendencies and dwelling on pre-prison life and its ramifications for his post-prison self. Flanked by the cousins Young Nudy and 21 Savage on “Nasty,” he reminisces about his days in the drug game, half-nostalgic, half-relieved that it’s over. His stacking rhyme schemes are densely packed (One bit from his verse on “Gucci Land”: “Send a bail in the mail/Fuck the judge and the jury and the jail and the muthafuckin’ cell/Know Chanel, and it’s Gucci, you can tell/You can smell, I’m a player, pull up in a V12”), and he sounds like an elder statesman settling comfortably into a new role. But any momentum built is soon derailed by the other voices he’s amplifying.

The compilation is divided into halves: the Gucci-led opening section, which functions like a filler-free comeback album, and the twelve songs affixed to it, which gives his new artists free reign. The second half feels a bit like watching a G League exhibition after an NBA playoff game. The rappers Gucci is grooming for The New 1017—particularly, Foogiano, Pooh Shiesty, and Big Scarr—never escape his looming shadow and never really get the chance.

To Gucci’s credit, he has been one of rap’s most underrated A&Rs, and there’s reason to believe he’s onto something with this crew, too. Foogiano sounds right at home with Gucci and Future on the Zaytoven-produced opener “Step Out,” his babbling Auto-Tuned flows cascading down the synth arrangement. Pooh isn’t doing anything Yo Gotti couldn’t do better, but on songs like “Monday to Sunday” he displays an adequate eye for detail (“Got twenty shots left up in the K, thought I shot the whole hundred/Pay tithes at church from hustlin’, even the pastor know we thuggin’”). The two women on the roster, K Shiday and Enchanting, team up for one song; Gucci has been adamant that they aren’t a group, but as the So Icy Girlz on “Left On Read,” they channel fierce City Girls energy. The comp could’ve used far more of them.

Instead of feeling like a big break for The New 1017, So Icy Summer just feels like a missed opportunity for Gucci. On “Iran,” he uses his unwillingness to get drafted as aframe for the injustices suffered under a racist American government. “Lifers” channels the dark world of Three 6 Mafia, and he sounds confident there: “Them suckers them, what’s up with them?/I buck on them, scuff up them Timbs/Petty hustles, predators, pressure them then they crumble them,” he raps. ” But all of this he-man virility builds to the somber “Still Remember,” an introspective finale about an inability to shake all of the things he’s seen, how the memories of his past life still haunt him. It’s the fitting climax to a resurgent moment. Everything that comes after feels incidental.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Gucci Mane - So Icy Summer Music Album Reviews Gucci Mane - So Icy Summer Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, July 16, 2020 Rating:

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