With the rap scene at the moment being particularly stagnant and not having a whole lot of new material to listen to, lately its been a fun mission seeking out new artists and records and re-finding old albums and mixtapes I've enjoyed in the past. These endeavors have often led me into Gucci/OJ territory. I've attempted to avoid those two for most of their existence, save for the occasional Gucci single. When they began guesting on several A-listers' singles, either by themselves or as a duo, I slowly began to attempt to decipher them. While I have drawn a line in the sand towards OJ's ignorant drivel (thank god Cam got ahold of "Make Da Trap Say Aye" and showed his no-flowing ass how to ride the track), Gucci keeps showing glimmers of hope that he can become the rapper many already (foolishly) believe he can be. He has somehow graduated into a guest-spot assassin, usurping Lil' Wayne as the most ubiquitous Southern artist on mainstream/club records.
And as much as I don't want to admit it, he wrecked his 16s on various high-profile collabs, something Wayne never seemed to be able to do. When Wayne went on his bizarre streak of completely flubbing his slots on Graduation, American Gangster, Paper Trail, The Carnival II, every Rick Ross album to date, et al., it kept him from truly achieving top-flight status in people's minds. Meanwhile, Gucci has merked guest 16s for everyone to Black Eyed Peas to Mariah Carey to Wayne himself. However, with all the being said, he is still vastly overrated and a direct product of people being desperate for new superstars. Which in understandable, considering the rap industry hasn't minted any new megastars since Kanye West & 50 Cent. Lil' Wayne & T.I. don't count, they've been milling around down there since the '90s and were in a proper position to capitalize on the Southern boom that brought platinum plaques to everyone from Mike Jones to Chamillionaire.
Now, the race seems to be on between Gucci Mane & Drake as to who can capitalize on their otherwordly buzz the quickest. How Gucci doesn't have an official record in stores by now is mind boggling. Why bother with the whole rigamarole of putting out a ladies' single and a street single? Gucci is at his sporadically entertaining best when he is given either supreme trunk rattlers, a la Fatboi & Drumma Boy, or spacey keyboard blips provided by Zaytoven. Lock him in the studio with these guys, a few other select producers who stick to that script and none of the B-listers he normally lets run his songs into the ground. I can't guarantee a classic, but from listening to Back To The Traphouse, its evident he has real songwriting ability and can actually provide his own hooks. Allow him possibly a few guest apperances from proven 16-bar killers like Fabolous, Ludacris, or Wayne and leave Mya, Shawnna, Nicki Minaj, Waka Flocka, OJ, and all the other marginally talented sexpots and weed-carriers and have him make basically a Wilt Chamberlain tape on steroids.
This aforementioned scneario obviously will never take place, as the record label keeps hoping the Big Boi/Juelz collab will take off and probably has a Keri Hilson/Jazmine Sullivanesque collab on tap that will also flop around like a dying fish, and Gucci will be pushed back. Hopefully, I'm wrong because right now Gucci reminds me of a baseball player, someone like Dave Kingman. A lot of home runs, but a hell of a lot of strikeouts, too. Gucci needs to stop swinging for the fences every time, realize his strengths like his nemesis Jeezy, and stick to them.
As for the other kid, Drake, he's probably screwed at this point. He should have been quickly signed and had an album pushed out while "Best I Ever Had" was bubbling. Now, he will be competing against that song and most likely losing in the public eye. Look at Maino, his album didn't come out until "Hi Hater" had already been out for almost a year. Despite a well-crafted concept album and a couple of fairly decent crossover singles, his album was released to little to no fanfare. The longer they wait, the more the initial buzz dies down. We will just have to wait and see what happens when Thank Me Later drops.