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Courtesy of Atlantic Records

October 23, 2019

TEST SPIN | Gucci Mane — ‘Woptober II’

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Five months after the release of his last album Delusions of Grandeur, and as a follow-up to his infamous 2016 mixtape Woptober, the East Atlanta Santa is back with his fifteenth studio album, Woptober II. The 13 song project which features Kodak Black, Megan Thee Stallion, Quavo, Takeoff, Dababy and more delivers a great track list for the casual listener but might not be innovative enough for classic Gucci fans.

Woptober II is an infectiously positive album. Filled with playful beats that feel straight out of video games, we can feel the the well deserved enthusiasm of Gucci Mane who released the album weeks after announcing he is finally campaigning with the luxury brand he is named after: Gucci. Nonetheless, the album illustrates Atlanta trap perfectly, focusing on a strong beat and catchy lyrics.

Even though “Richer Than Errybody” featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again and DaBaby came out a couple weeks ago as the leading single, the album’s biggest strengths are on Gucci’s solo songs. Indeed, “Move Me” produced by J. White Did It showcases his witty and humorous rhymes, on top of a very dramatic villain-like beat. As noted before, it reminds the listener of a video game (particularly what you would hear in Super Mario Bros while fighting Bowser) which strays away from the mainstream rap scene, and gets you engaged in the catchy refrains.

However, to hardcore Gucci fans this album sadly sounds all too familiar. This being his third full-length album in less than a year, what can be seen as his style is starting to be repetitive. Although he is able to constantly have the hottest features on his albums, his songs are starting to all sound the same. What first catches your attention when listening to Gucci is the playfulness of the beats and the ease of the wordflow, which comes with its downsides. For example, I used to love his single  “At Least An M” off his 2016 album Everybody Looking for the same reasons I like “Move Me” — it’s different from mainstream rap, fun and has catchy repetitive refrains. But this is also what made me hate it after a couple months. It isn’t durable because the lyrics all say vaguely the same thing and you easily get tired of the beat. Sadly Gucci still is not ready to quit his comfort-zone and we cannot blame him for it: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?

In fact, a lot of good things came out of this album: “Big Boy Diamonds” featuring Kodak Black and London On Da Track has an increased amount of vocals and a smoothed out beat. This, combined with the fact that Kodak and Gucci’s rap styles are extremely similar, could not make for a better fit. The already short song is so soothing that it seems too short, in the best way possible.

All in all, I wouldn’t jump to this album if I was a new Gucci listener, and it is not a surprising project to old listeners. Yet we have to hand it to him — after fifteen albums and endless projects, Gucci Mane’s recipe still works, and that says all you have to know about it.

 

Kayla Bouazouni is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at kyb3@cornell.edu.