Gucci Mane. It's hard to believe how wack this album is, but I'm going to try and justify my opinion in this review. Let me state from the beginning that I wanted to like Gucci Mane going into this release. As a fan of Jeezy, and after hearing many people compare Gucci's style to Jeezy's, I went into this release expecting an emcee similar to Young Jeezy. I admit to having a certain soft spot for trap-rap, and was expecting, at the very least, mediocre rhymes about hustling, cooking, and chopping backed by some top-notch production. Dissapointing is an understatement.
Gucci Mane is similar to Young Jeezy in that he has a very slow, droning flow, and often raps about, well, crack. The differences between Jeezy and Gucci Mane are very obvious to the trained ear; while Southern rap haters may write them both off as the same emcee, fans of Jeezy can easily pick up on Gucci's flaws. First, the charisma is rarely there. Gucci sounds very bored behind the mic, and rarely puts any energy into his rhymes; you'd think that all his legal troubles, and the desire to be on a major-label would've made Gucci hungry, but he sounds so uninspired throughout most of the album. Although this may sound blasphemous to most hip-hop heads, Gucci also lacks Jeezy's depth; yes, Jeezy DOES have depth. While Jeezy can offer us tracks like "Sky's The Limit," "Soul Survivor," "Dreamin'," and "The Inspiration," Gucci doesn't bring any of that to the table. While Jeezy is also all-hood, at the very least, he can bring forth some of the negative aspects of it. Despite the fact that Gucci was mugged, murdered someone out of self-defense, is involved in a beef with a rapper selling over dozens more than him, and was nearly sentenced to life in prison, it's still all good to Gucci.
The production is also very, very poor; something Jeezy certainly can't say. While Young Jizzle has a million-dollar budget, and an all-star cast of producers on both his albums, Gucci Mane, whether due to limited budget or just poor beat selecting, does not have this same support on this album. With better production found throughout, this album could've at least been booted up to two stars; as it stands, the only beats that even sound half decent on this album are the Nitti-produced "Go Head" and the simplistic, yet hypnotizing "Trap Starz." These two tracks also bring out a bit more carefree approach in delivery from Gucci, showing that, had he been presented with better beats, he could've also stepped up his rap game.
I've never heard Trap House, so I can't judge Gucci on that. His sophomore album, if it really does show growth as others have suggested, has motivated me to continue keeping my distance from it. I won't suggest that this album doesn't have room to grow on me; after all, I gave The Inspiration a two-star review, and it has since become one of my most-listened to albums over time. Gucci Mane, no matter how much I may appear to be hating on him in this review, still has potential; given a better soundscape, I know he could release a better effort than Hard to Kill. While I won't doubt that I could end up liking this six months down the road, it still doesn't change the quality of this album at the time being.