The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted
04:00PM ET September 28th, 2010
Contributor: Mathis Bauchner
A Rocky Williform Company
First off, a confession...
Before writing this review I’d never given Gucci Mane much of a listen. I ignored last year’s album and the mixtapes that followed, and I found the “Lemonade” video more aesthetically than musically pleasing. But when my cousin, who despises nearly every mainstream rapper, admitted to me that he’s somewhat fond of Gucci, I figured it might be worthwhile to give Georgia’s Most Wanted a chance.
After a thorough listening to The Appeal I found myself pleasantly surprised. In mainstream rap, especially Southern rap, popularity is often determined by a hierarchy of swag. Fortunately, Gucci’s got it in spades. The Appeal is by no means a great album, but there are moments of dope/party boy bravado that Gucci gets just right.
“Making Love To The Money” takes the cash-as-wifey concept to the next level, as Gucci declares “Shawty stayed by my side when I started grindin’ / She the main reason why a nigga shinin’.” “Gucci Time” gives him as a chance to equate his level of intoxication to that of a college frat bro. In a genre dominated by the weed smokers and codeine sippers, it’s nice that there’s a rapper out there who’s still down to get real drunk.
Speaking of “Gucci Time,” I’d like to take a moment to point out that Swizz Beatz really can’t rap. His verse on the song thoroughly blocks Gucci’s otherwise impeccable shine and his chorus on “It’s Alive” is cringingly, high-school-talent-show bad. “I ride on ‘em, plus I style on ‘em / Yes, I lean on ‘em, yes, I flash on ‘em.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Swizzie. He managed to wife up the goddess that is Alicia Keys and he’s a master behind the boards, but that’s really where he should stay.
Instead The Appeal’s award for best lyrical contribution by a producer goes to Pharrell, who turns in a delightfully nonsensical hook on the album’s best track, “Haterade,” which also features a razor-sharp, if somewhat subdued, verse from Nicki Minaj. Her crisp vocals contrast nicely with Gucci’s signature raspy flow.
Other standout tracks include the Bun B-assisted, Scarface-referencing “Little Friend,” and “Grown Man,” which directly addresses the situation that inspired the album’s title. Gucci’s legal troubles have been well documented, and his incarceration last year prior to the release of The State Vs. Radric Davis prevented him from touring or properly promoting the album. Still it sold well and produced a number of successful singles, including the aforementioned “Lemonade.” The Appeal gives Gucci another opportunity to try and ascend the rap ranks, this time as a free man.
A few songs could’ve been left on the cutting room floor, but the 15-track LP is relatively lean as it is. “Trap Talk” has been done about 800 times before and “Dollar Sign” is one I’ve-got-a-sh*tload-of-money song too many. Still there’s something undeniably awesome about Gucci. Anyone who drops a line like “I touch this white titty and a n*gga start trippin’” is good in my book. I wouldn’t immediately leap to call myself one of his biggest fans, but cuzzo definitely didn’t steer me wrong.