Gucci Back (Again!) Even if you’re not a fan of the music from the infamous Southern rapper, there has to be some respect for the man’s work ethic. Since his introduction in 2005 with “So Icy”, Gucci Mane fans have NEVER gone hungry. Beefs, prison sentences, and Twitter drama have never kept him from a recording booth and releasing new music.  With his release from “vacation” this year, I was expecting a flood of songs, features, and mixtapes from Guwop. Except for a guest verse for GOOD Music, he’s been quiet, very selective as if he was planning for something big. We would learn that all the recording he has done was reserved for the barcode market with his ninth major label album, Everybody Looking. Does a selective output of music mean we have a new Gucci Mane? We got to listen to the music to find out if the man that has been called elementary by some and underrated by others delivered universal material to be approved by all listeners.

Everybody Looking

1. No Sleep (Intro)
Produced By Mike WiLL Made-It & Zaytoven
This is an interesting intro. I’ve gotten hype to this song in the gym, but it’s very ominous. There are moments of celebration and there are moments of despair in the hook alone:

I can’t even sleep I got so much to say
Fuck the feds, fuck the police, fuck the DEA
I can’t even sleep I got so much to say
Ex-drug dealer, used to sell a brick a day
I can’t even sleep I got so much to say
Recovering drug addict, I used to drink a pint a day
I can’t even sleep I got so much to say
Recovering drug addict, I used to smoke a pound a day.

Congratulations on the sobriety! The FEDS, DEA, and police are more than likely watching him because of the daily brick transactions, but that’s all in the past. Noah and 40 days of rain get mentioned to describe a life moment, someone’s been the reading the Bible. Past stories about selling drugs before reaching high school lure me into an idea of our star opening himself up to listeners:

Sold my first 8-ball and bought me my first pair of J’s
Momma cussing out these disrespectful ass J’s
They knockin’ on the door, know I’m just in the 7th grade

I think this is the most personal Gucci Mane song I’ve ever heard and it can still be played at ignorant levels for the turn up.

2. Out Do Ya
Produced By Zaytoven
“Sophisticated Ignorance” is the only way to describe “Out Do Ya”. We have a guide to how a recently incarcerated man out does others that have been freed in his absence but have been stagnant in life:

If I ain’t a millionaire then my lil boy can grow a pussy
If Guwop ain’t bout his business then Popeye must be a sissy
And if you ain’t getting money I don’t wanna talk to ya
Cause how you let a nigga in the feds out do you
I’m not politically correct cause bitch I ain’t no politician

The first line of this song confuses the hell out of me, I’m probably over thinking his hyperbole to indicate that he will get money or nothing else. I wish Popeye, the cartoon character didn’t get dragged into this, but the poetic line is well delivered.

3. Back On Road
Featuring Drake; Produced By Murda Beatz
If I didn’t see the production credits, I would have thought this was another Zaytoven beat. This song wasn’t bad when I first heard it, but now that I’ve heard it in the context of the album several times, I don’t consider it a standout anymore.

4. Waybach
Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It & Zaytoven
This will be played for the rest of the summer. If you wonder why Gucci chose to work with Mike Will and Zay for the majority of this album, it’s because of loyalty. So much loyalty that Gooch would rather rap on one of their beats instead of a Dr. Dre track.

5. Pussy Print
Featuring Kanye West; Produced By Mike WiLL Made-It, Marz, & Swae Lee
So far 3 out of 4 songs have been entertaining. This is when the album takes a nose dive. I saw Kanye West and Swae Lee on the credits of this song with a provocative title and thought I was going to get a fun song. NOPE! The first of many low rumble beats that you will hear on this album and I don’t like it. Money in the pockets makes it look like a “pussy print”, get it?

6. Pop Music
Produced By Mike WiLL Made-It & Harris
If you thought you were going to see the reemergence of the Gucci that collaborated with Mariah Carey and Usher, hate to disappoint, but the song title is a clever way to bring gun talk to the album.

I’m hearing rumors that my label ’bout to drop Gucci
In my convertible Rari they call me Drop Gucci
Rappers having conventions on how to stop Gucci
They know my Glocks sing my hooks and we call it pop music
We call it pop music, we call it pop music
My choppers sing all my hooks and I call it rock music

Guns and rumors about him getting dropped from his label are the only things you’ll find on this song.

7. Guwop Home
Featuring Young Thug; Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It & Zaytoven
Thank You! This is my chance to finally wake up. I was getting drowsy on this album. Thugga Thugga’s voice is an enigma. Young Thug should/could be a Jazz singer based on the way he delivers the hook. I kept thinking about what if he was classically trained instead of paying attention to his “Teeth white like Politicians” line once he starts his actual verse. I’m glad this song wasn’t released first, it’s the cliche “Welcome Back” record, it deserves to be a hidden treasure found after the release of the album.

8. Gucci Please
Produced By Mike WiLL Made-It
This is the closest thing to a female-friendly record as we’ll get. There really is nothing worth mentioning or writing about here. Simple, annoying hook, boring beat.

Gucci

9. Robbed
Produced By Zaytoven
The honesty maintains on Everybody Looking in the form of “Robbed” as he admits to being robbed before in his lifetime. Mr. Davis admits the situation, but doesn’t fully tell the story. It’s a very generic song about how anyone can get robbed, even the robbers, especially in his hood. I would’ve like this song more if there was an explanation of why do people rob, what are they taking, or some other details to bring the song to life.

10. Richest Nigga In The Room
Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It & Zaytoven
The title explains it all. The beat helps, but it’s still the basic “I was poor, now I’m rich, Watch me turn into James Franco from Springbreakers (which also starred Gucci)”. “Look at my shit!”

’89, ’96, 2002
I was selling dope before they thought that shit was cool
I was the brokest damn nigga in the school
Remember they was laughing at me pointing at my shoes
Back in ’92 I was a social recluse
’96 I bought me a Caprice coupe
Shot it to the first nigga sold me a deuce
Yeah the first nigga sold me a deuce

11. 1st Day Out Tha Feds
Produced By Mike WiLL Made-It
Someone please tell me if I’m wrong, but with Mike Will and Zay handling the beats, I was expecting them to be even more creative with their work on instrumentals specifically made for Trap. They would never play these beats for Future and Future would never use any of the music I’ve heard so far from this album. With that said, “1st Day Out Of Tha Feds” is the best from Rae Sremmurd’s go-to producer on this project, but I’ve heard better from him. Released the day after he came home, this was a good introduction to the “new” Gucci.

I praise rappers like Jay-Z, Killer Mike, Pimp C,  T.I., and Pusha T. when they talk about selling drugs; you get the whole story, not just the fun BMF-esque parties and flashing money. Their songs featuring the chills of being in a cell away from friends and family as the world continues to move on without you. I hate every Gucci Mane video that has him drug dealing but ends with a “To Be Continued” message when the Feds come. They never show what happened, the downfall, in the next video. Here we get Radric Davis to talk about the downside of some of his past actions.

It’s a lot of people scared of me and I can’t blame ’em
They call me crazy so much, I think I’m starting to believe ’em
I did some things to some people that was down right evil
Is it karma coming back to me, so much drama
My own mama turned her back on me, and that’s my mama

He’s finally telling the whole story! Gucci Is For The Kids! Teach Them Well!

12. At Least A M
Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It & Zaytoven
Come up music, there are actually some reflective lines detailing his past. The repetitive “Have at least a m” kills the song for me. Also no lines stood out to me that need to be shared here. “You gotta be apart of something to talk to him, not be a millionaire” is the moral at the end of the day.

13. All My Children
Produced By Drumma Boy
I LOVE THIS SONG! My favorite song off the album is Drumma Boy’s lone placement, “All My Children”. Released before the album with a hilarious cover, this song is about the influence of Mr. 1017 on Atlanta rappers, Trap Music, and Southern Hip-Hop. I want to write an article about how great this song is based on its subtlety. This is the best diss song of 2016 and there is no direct reference to who he is dissing. It could be Waka Flocka, it could be Migos, maybe any rapper that ever worked with any producer he frequently collaborated with in the past, but didn’t give respect to Gucci. This is dedicated to any artist that has a sprinkle of Zone 6’s favorite son in their DNA.

It’s gotta be his cold, menacing delivery that makes this song so hauntingly good. It’s like that scene in the movie when the bad guy tells someone, “no hard feelings”, but they never smile or even blink as they make eye contact. That guy is going to kill someone before the movie is over. Y’all need to hear this song. I’m just going to leave the entire first verse here for y’all enjoyment. Read it and then listen or vice versa, either way, I will argue that this is the best song on the album.

Don’t nobody love you like pa love you
Don’t nobody love you like Guwop love you
I had to make a track to say I’m proud of you
Stop that track to tell my children that I’m proud of them
Making rockstars out of trap boys
And if we never talk again, still got your back boy
This here is bigger than the game, deeper than rap, boy
Just ask around in East Atlanta, I’m the landlord
Fuck a contract, I’d rather shake your hand boy
Yeah I’m your CEO but I’m your biggest fan boy
Said I’m the best A&R that’s in the business (It’s Gucci)
But there’s an AR-15 in my Bentley.

I told you this song is so creepy. First two lines, “Don’t nobody love you like Pa love you,
Don’t nobody love you like Guwop love you” are great openers as he continues to claim fatherhood on a lot of careers. There’s so much about this song that works and it seemed like he did it effortlessly. The last two lines of the first verse don’t even rhyme! I have played this song so much, I gotta move on to the next song.

14. Pick Up The Pieces (Outro)
Produced By Zaytoven & Will-A-Fool
With “Pick Up The Pieces” we come to the end. It’s a cool outro, I’m actually glad it ended here instead of with “All My Children.” We started out with Gucci’s version of introspective lyrics, we end on the same note.

A little freak lied and tried to put a kid on me
And my own homeboys called the pigs on me
But my faith got skronger and my money grew longer
Sold all my artists now, Gucci Mane a fucking loner
I’m a part-time rapper, I’m a full time owner
Breaking rules and bending corners, crack your head with a Corona

BOTTOM LINE

There are songs that I really enjoyed, but as a whole, this project didn’t excite me. Except for Young Thug, the features didn’t bring anything special to the album. Kanye West and Drake phoned in their appearances to get notoriety from Gucci’s huge audience. Gucci’s fanbase is polarizing; There are people that love him ironically and there are people that believe he speaks for them. I’m the person that can admit there are several songs from Gooch I like, you should have seen me on October 17th last year when I had my phone, but I’m hesitant to listen to a whole project from the 1017 Mob Boss. Except for Trap Back, I’ve never enjoyed a Gucci project and the trend continues.

Out of 14 tracks, 7 were enjoyed, five songs I’m going to be playing for the rest of the year. I am here to proclaim that Gucci Mane is a clone, except for a few songs, he’s exactly the same rapper he was three years ago doing the same songs over and over to the point where his originality and uniqueness is vanishing. If he wants everybody to keep looking, he needs to go outside his comfort zone six.

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