Review: Droptopwop x Gucci Mane & Metro Boomin’

It’s been years since I’ve actively checked for a Gucci Mane record. To be clear, I’m not one of those rap critics who dismiss Southern rap – quite the opposite, actually. Gucci Mane’s career snd importance to the culture is criminally overlooked in my opinion – partly because of his own output, though. The problem with Gucci Mane is that for every good record he’s ever put out, there are hundreds that should have never left the studio. Gucci Mane is certainly talented and witty when he wants to be, but stretching that too thin while trying to remain relevant through taking the kitchen sink approach to mixtape output only results in an MC being consistently overlooked when the time comes to give credit where it’s due.

Droptopwop was dropped to celebrate one year since Gucci’s release from prison and it seems like he’s taking a slightly more serious approach to his music (or maybe this is just wishful thinking from a writer who wants more of this from Gucci). While his content is still as banal as ever and his humorous wit is still intact to make that content palatable, this collaboration seems to be a move in the direction of quality over quantity. At a crisp 37 minutes in length and produced entirely by Metro Boomin’, this project is a stark contrast to the bloated projects Gucci’s been dropping for years now.

While its content will keep it from getting too much public burn, “Helpless” is immediately infectious. I promise you that Gucci’s crooning on the chorus is more enjoyable than it sounds like it would be on paper. Migos member Offset pops up on “Met Gala”, which is easily one of the most enjoyable tracks on this project. While the addition of a guest act worked well here, 2Chainz and Young Dolph on “Both Eyes Closed” were quite underwhelming, though I can’t say I was surprised about it.

I’m not sure why it was considered an interlude as opposed to just another song, but “Finesse The Plug Interlude” is a slow-burning groove that’s easily one of the better tracks here at least in terms of something that sounds great in your car with the bass turned all the way up – and that’s what you’re really expecting to get out of a Gucci Mane project.

The closing track, “Loss 4 Wrdz”, is a complete waste of a Rick Ross feature, unfortunately. In addition to it being the last track on the album (though I’m aware that album order doesn’t mean as much as it once did), Metro’s production sounds like it was taken from a lullaby and Gucci Mane’s flow is equally sleepy. By two minutes and 20 seconds in, when Rick Ross inevitably appears to rap about his cinnamon-colored Bentley riding on Timberlands, nobody even cares anymore. I just assume I’m not drinking enough lean (read: any lean) to ride along with Gucci and Rawse on this particular track.

While Metro Boomin’s production is a bit repetitive and he strikes me as more of a beatmaker than a producer (meaning that his beats seem pre-ordered, not as if he actually sat down with the artist to craft a concept for the record), I’ve always been a fan of rappers teaming up with producers for full projects. This and the short length of this project are what Gucci did right here and I hope his contemporaries follow suit. Metro Boomin’ in his own right is talented enough for me to also want more from him in the future, though I would be interested to see how his skills a s a producer would improve by taking more concept albums on or simply by taking more risks and experimenting with some samples.

If you’re anything like me and have had a major lapse in your concern for Gucci Mane’s music, I think Droptopwop is the perfect place to get back on. While you’re not getting a ton of artistic growth here from either the MC or the producer, what you do have is a fun record that will easily carry you through the first part of the summer, not to mention a few tracks that will probably stick with you for a lot longer than that.

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