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Gucci Mane, Writings On The Wall 2

Legal troubles and jail time have proven unfortunately inescapable road blocks in Gucci Mane’s career of late, but his work ethic while not locked up has ensured his name remains on fans’ minds. Though he was just released from prison earlier this month, the Alabama born rhymer dropped Writings On The Wall 2 alongside DJ Holiday while still inside. And while the tape may not win Gucci many new listeners, it should satisfy his already established fanbase.

Early on comes “Lil Friends,” an anthemic gun-toting boast on which the the Brick Squad CEO quickly acknowledges and dismisses what is often his biggest knock: “Don’t talk to me ’bout lyrical/I prophesize/I’m biblical,” he raps, before later kicking the oft-replicated mantra “Don’t call me a rap artist/Nigga, I’m a trap artist.” Whether it’s a desired label or not, Gucc is indeed a rapper, and his skills as one—not as a trap star—are what’s reflected on the tape. And even if he neither aims for nor provides rewind-button-jamming bars, the Ice Cream Man does a respectable job on wax.

“Psycho,” in its hook, feels like a “Weirdo” 2.0, and proves to be a surprise showing lyrically, as Gucci offers a rapid-fire flow. The Yelawolf collab “Too Turnt Up” is equally explosive, as the two again flaunt the stylistically juxtaposing chemistry that first showed up on 2010′s “Wanna Party.” With Lex Luger (“Lil Friends), Drumma Boy (“Too Turnt Up”) and Shawty Redd supplying the majority of production on the 19-track release, the soundscape is percussion heavy, with hard drums and rambunctious basslines throughout.

Though Writings On The Wall 2 may not fully reestablish the Gucci Mane to where he once was, this, coupled with the Ferrari Boyz release alongside Waka Flocka, is sure to launch the recently release rap star back on the radar. —Adam Fleischer

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