Jonathan Mannion // Instagram
On "Out Do Ya," a standout song on his latest album, Gucci Mane summarizes his reign and current takeover with the scoff of scoffs: "How you let a ni—a out the feds out do ya." Simple, sans any lyrical aerobics, the line is unfuckwittable and manages to garland Gucci's comeback with a fitting bow. Refreshed, rejuvenated, and just about everything else listed in the thesaurus for the word "energized," the self-proclaimed East Atlanta Santa brings in Christmas for July (how fitting?) on Everybody Looking, a package that is stocked with as many stormy bangers as gift-wrapped presents stuffed under the tree on December 24.
"I done shook off all my demons now I'm back to myself," he raps on "Back on Road," one of the many standouts on the star-studded release, and on "Pick Up the Pieces," he makes it clear: "My faith got stronger."
Trials of a recovering drug addict with narcissistic tendencies all get laid out on here, while the production stylings of Mike WiLL Made It and Zaytoven serve as the backdrop. The two beatsmiths are the Mickey Goldmill and Paulie Pennino to Gucci's Rocky Balboa. Handling most of the production, the collective ends up with a fantastic trap combination.
Triumphant, the overall release sounds exactly how photographer Jonathan Mannion described his vision on the artwork: "Victorious, free, and strong." While the skeleton of the project is redemption, the music itself is everything you'd expect from Guwop. If his 2Pacian output over the last two years wasn't already an indication, Gucci delivers his authentic sound and nothing less.
It's the story of redemption, and Guwop wears it like street general stripes throughout the 15 tracks. In the end this becomes a checkpoint in what's been one of the most successful rap comebacks since Lil Wayne's post-prison run in 2009. It's Gucci time, and this project is the ticking hands.
With the album in stores, and concert set for tonight, here are three standout tracks from Everybody Looking.
"Out Do Ya"
Gucci makes his comeback testimony on this booming standout, which finds him asking his peers how they let someone step "out the feds" and do better then them. Callous as usual, he even mocks his critics over the trunk rattler, claiming, "I'm not politically correct 'cause bitch I ain't no politician." Gucci for president 2020.
With a beat that is as villainous as the Suicide Squad, Guwop is blunt as ever. Despite his legal issues, Guwop advises "I'm so East Atlanta, still got all my old hammers." Giving no f—ks, the rapper keeps it as relentless as his stream of back-to-back mixtape releases.
Storytelling Gucci is in effect here, detailing the times he did the robbing, caught his first lick, and succumbed to the payback. All of this is told over rollicking Zaytoven production, which makes this banger sound like a summer's day scene cut out from The Wire.
Gucci Mane & Friends will stream Friday, July 22, at 8 p.m. ET. Then, tune in to REVOLT for the television premiere of the concert and a post interview on Thursday, July 28, at 10:30 p.m. ET., with an encore Friday, July 29, at 8:30 p.m. Follow the conversation and be heard on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter @REVOLTtv and the hashtag #GucciHomecoming.