Review : Gucci Mane - Ferrari Boyz
HiphopdxThe dynamic Brick Squad 1017 duo of Gucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame came together to release this week's other mentor-protege collaborative album, Ferrari Boyz. This work, reportedly recorded in less than two weeks, finds two rappers whose reputations precede them, and who maintain cult followings, despite a polarizing response across the Hip Hop landscape.
Gucci and Waka have been, and will likely continue to be, most notable for rapping about their unique lives – a fantastical world filled with controlled substances, the finest exotic dancers, and the flyest whips a (t)rapper’s money can buy. Ferrari Boyz continues their ongoing musical pursuits to allow listeners a glimpse of their lofty lifestyles, with a 15-track selection of the two trading verses about financial indigestion (“stomach full of money, so hundreds I’ma burp [excuse me]” as heard on “15th And The 1st”), casual encounters with your female siblings (“I’m a cold hearted nigga / You might catch me with your sister / Autograph my picture / I won’t ever kiss her” via “Break Her”), and embracing their youthful spirits (“I’m in the club 30 deep like a young nigga / I’m still in the streets like a young nigga” as told on “Young Niggaz”).
Southside and Lex Luger provide majority of the production work on Ferrari Boyz, providing as much musical diversity as the lyrical counterpart. Trunks will rattle and booties will clap along to the mud-driven rhythms whenever these songs are in rotation, which is probably the goal anyway. The overall sound is that which fuels the inebriation of club-goers or D-boys on the block, and is not to be consumed when sober. To get close to properly appreciating the alliance of elementary-level rhyme schemes of Southern slang and the deep vibrato of the bass-laden instrumentals, the right setting and substances are required. A little bit of, as Waka calls it, “Obama, that’s brown and white liquor,” while posted up in one of the strip clubs they call out by name in “Feed Me” (including, oddly enough, New York hot-spots Sue’s Rendezvous and Perfections), would be the ideal scenario for consumption of Ferrari Boyz....full text
PitchforkGucci Mane and Waka Flocka Flame have always shared a symbiotic relationship. With Gucci frequently in and out of jail, keeping the Brick Squad name and label relevant has mostly fallen on Waka's shoulders, and he's done a more than adequate job, releasing a few legitimate radio hits as well as one of the best rap albums of last year. Waka has also gathered a host of new rappers under Brick Squad's wings-- most notably Slim Dunkin, who appears on Ferrari Boyz twice-- and while likely none of them will end up as stars, the brand extension certainly can't hurt. Waka, of course, was brought along for the ride as Gucci ascended upward, and his success was undoubtedly accelerated by his proximity to Gucci's budding stardom.
What made the partnership work artistically is that their styles are almost completely opposite. At the height of his prolificacy, Gucci was penning colorful and singular verses that, from a writing and conceptual standpoint, put him rap's upper tier. But he also had a keen ear for pop; his best hooks were almost impossibly intricate (arguably even unnecessarily so, considering how much music he gave away for free), and he managed to embed most of his ad-libs in the genre's collective conscious. Standing in stark contrast, Waka's style is purposefully non-lyrical, and his choruses are often him just shouting a phrase or two-- no less catchy, but still an altogether different tactic. And where Gucci's beats were highly musical, Waka's are often loud and seemingly best fit for head banging. If Gucci painted pictures, Waka looks at a blank canvas and dumps a can of red paint on it. Then maybe breaks it over his knee.
But here's the dirty secret about Waka and Gucci: They've never worked well as collaborators. Though they've now been on dozens of songs together, none ranks in either artist's upper echelon, and many have been an outright bore. On paper, their styles do not mesh, and in practice they don't either. They both sound awkward and out of place on each other's tracks-- Gucci blunts Waka's raw emotion, and Waka leaves little room for Gucci's writerly leanings. That trend doesn't change on Ferrari Boyz, their official commercially released collaborative album....full text
RollingstoneDon't expect innovation from these titans of Southern rap. Instead, brace yourself for chanted celebrations of money, cars, cocaine, and Waka and Gucci themselves. Gucci delivers mush-mouthed lines like "I'm not a blogger/I'm not a jogger/More like a mobster." Waka raps circles around him on songs like "Suicide Homicide," but nothing rises to the level of Waka's thunderous 2010 solo album — maybe because young-gun producer Lex Luger is absent. Instead, the tracks are pale imitations of the hyperspeed high-hat-and-bass sound Luger originated — fitting accompaniment for two MCs coasting by....full text
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