Review : Gucci Mane - The Burrrprint 2 HD
Pitchfork"My jewelry game is at an all-time high right now," says Gucci Mane, over the phone from prison, on the intro to The Burrrprint (2). I'm sorry, but that's frankly hard to believe: The only jewelry he's wearing on the mixtape cover is a pair of handcuffs. Still, if that cover is to be believed, he has no trouble getting access to lobster, cell phones, and pink bottles of champagne while in prison. At no point do we learn how he opens bottles of pink champagne while he's got handcuffs on. It can't be easy.
The Burrrprint (2) is the latest example of a long tradition: A rap album that comes out while the guy who made it is in jail. (And in this case, it really is an album rather than a mixtape, at least in the sense that his label is trying to rack up at least a couple of bucks by selling the damn thing in actual stores.) And while the bulk of the mixtape consists of tracks that Gucci recorded before starting his year-long parole-violation prison sentence, we still hear a whole lot of phoned-in missives from the imprisoned Gucci. He even recorded one song, "Intro (Live From Fulton County Jail)", from an actual prison phone. It's still very much a Gucci Mane song, not concerned with anything much deeper than his yellow Lamborghini with the butter rims. Even locked up, Gucci refuses to turn introspective. No matter what, he's determined to give us more cheap synthetic beats, more loopy word choices, more big choruses, more dizzy celebrations of materialistic pleasures. In other words, he's doing exactly the same shit he did before he went to prison. He's not even working out! "No push-ups, but I'm still looking good as a motherfucker," he tells us.
As a straight-up Gucci mixtape, The Burrrprint (2) comes nowhere near the panache of its predecessor. The original Burrrprint, itself a sequel of Gucci's The Movie mixtape, was pretty much straight murder from end to end. On this one, though, filler abounds. Gucci's memorable punchlines come less often, and his choruses don't stick quite so easily. Gucci's cadences are less inventive, wheezier, more tired. Gucci's guest rappers are bigger stars than usual-- Ludacris, Rick Ross, Trey Songz-- but they add less than longtime collaborators like energetic mushmouth Wacka Flocka, who gets a couple of good moments. Considering the insane volume of material Gucci recorded before going to prison, it's pretty amazing that he wasn't on autopilot earlier, but it's still disappointing to hear him at something less than full speed....full text
XxlmagGucci Mane may be locked up right now, but that hasn’t stopped his movement. Just four months after releasing his major label debut, The State Vs. Radric Davis, from behind bars, the Atlanta rapper returns on the DJ Holiday-hosted The Burrrprint 2 HD, a surprisingly cohesive street album featuring tracks recorded prior to Gucci’s incarceration, as well as a number of interludes and even a catchy, Drumma Boy-produced song, “Intro (Live From Fulton County Jail,” recorded over the phone from prison.
Thanks to a slew of up-tempo, 808-heavy production efforts, Gucci doesn’t give off the impression that he’s going through a particularly rough patch in his life. On the bouncy “Boy From The Block,” he shows little regard for his legal situation as he playfully raps, “I pull up in the Spyder, strapped up like MacGyver/Shoulda brought my Phantom out but I’m mad at my driver.” On the triumphant “Parking Outside,” he spits about all the cars he’s got stored away in his garage. And on the sing-songy “How I’m Living,” featuring a bubbly Jim Jones, he indicates that he’s never been better by bragging about his nasally rap flow and all that it has afforded him.
But as with any artist that releases material while they’re incarcerated, Gucci struggles to keep up the momentum due to material that doesn’t sound as organic. The droning “Here We Go Again” is as repetitive, subject-wise, as its title indicates. And the robust eight-minute-long cocaine posse cut, “Coca Coca,” provides just a little bit too much of the obvious. But Gucci manages to bring the mixtape home on the booming “Shining For No Apparent Reason,” a superficial ode to outlandish spending. It may not seem like the ideal time for Gucci Mane to be so boastful, but on TB2, he does everything he can to make the best of a bad situation. —Chris Yuscavage...full text
PlanetillBook ended by telephone messages from Fulton County jail, The Burrrprint 2 HD is a springtime morsel to quell the appetites of rabid Gucci fans. It maintains musical and stylistic fidelity with pretty much everything else Gucci has ever put out. All of the usual themes and elements are present with nary a variation in sight. This is good or bad depending on what side of the divide you fall on.
“Intro” features Gucci rapping through a jail phone over G-Funk synthesizers and horror movie piano keys. Despite the appealing hook, the static haze that surrounds the vocals renders his lyrics indecipherable. The listener has to struggle to make the words out. This hampers the enjoyment of the song.
“Atlanta Zoo” finds Gucci being outclassed by special guest Ludacris. Luda gives Gucci a lesson in projecting charisma while maintaining technical proficiency as an MC. Those who think lyrical rap can’t be entertaining should take note. Luda is as agile as ever, varying both his vocal tone and the speed of his spit. ...full text
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