Unity in rap can lead to great, or, in the very least, exciting and fresh offerings. Jay-Z and Kanye West’s decision to team up for Watch The Throne is a full-length collaborative project burdened by expectations of greatness. Free Bricks, the joint offering from 1017 Brick Squad’s Gucci Mane and Freebandz’s Future, may not be quite great, but it remains exciting and manages to hit its mark.
Throughout the mixtape, Future’s oft-muffled, Auto-Tune-tinged flow and Gucci’s crisp drawl bounce off of the large, persistent production from Zaytoven, Drumma Boy and Mike Will to create ride-round, steam-emitting-from-concrete type music. Zaytoven merges out-there sounding keys and hi-hats to set the tone for “Free Brickz,” an early, catchy highlight. Later, “Lamborghini” proves to be the Free Bricks standout, a party-ready track full of hunger.
Even on the would-be underwhelming bars on the tape, each rapper manages to toe the line between bad and simply entertaining and amusing. “Got mo’ hands than an octopus/Got eight different kinds, this octo-kush,” Gucci boasts on the project opener, “Gucci Terintino.” “I don’t walk ’cause I just float/Rolling like I’m on a boat/And I can play the pi-an-o!” Future spits on “Stevie Wonder,” employing his unique delivery to make the line work.
Gucci Mane and Future don’t waver much from thematic brags and trap tales, and the lyrics won’t have you rewinding, but the sonic setting on the mixtape, and how Gucci and Future are able to bolster it with their vocals, is superb. Listeners should surely apprecaite the pure, uncut, raw Free Bricks that they’ve been given. —Adam Fleischer