25. Gucci Mane – Lodi Dodi
Flipping a classic hook into a smooth yet raspy club chorus & a verse of nonstop quotables: “Gucci you trippin’ you know you ain’t sexy / all this ice call me Gucci Mane Gretzky / Alligator seats, TVs and head rest-s, watch named asthma, leave a bitch breathless.”
24. Gucci Mane – Let’s Go To War
Gucci can do pun-joke-y bullshit as well as anybody, but I’ve been pushing Gucci’s breadth as an artist right? And I don’t mean he’s doing rap album madlibs, trying to fill up the basic LP formula (song for the ladies … song with autotune … Miami/Runners joint with Khaled collaborators … oh shit im talking about ‘carter iii’). Gucci actually switches up his rap style, his flow, his lyrical approach, depending on the content. “Let’s Go To War,” like the title suggests, is Gucci’s “Warning.” No smirking flow, no comical puns, only adlibs are echoed lyrics for emphasis with no gimmicks, & lyrically its just straight no-bullshit threats, delivered in a slow & steady cadence (no drunken Gucci slurring) to ensure there are no misunderstandings. “Comin’ off the hip, I am ready to rip / rapid blood loss so he’s starting to drift, light shining bright and he ready to dip.” Beat is all that Mr. Perfect mixtape twilight atmosphere. & Gucci’s molasses flow here, delivered in simple descending sing-song forces you to focus on the visceral, eliminating any cartoonish studio G vibes u might get from 2009 gangsta shit. “Beatcha with a pistol try to tear off your arm, chest shot close make u cough up a lung.”
23. E-40 feat. Bun-B & Gucci Mane – The Recipe
“The Recipe” was probably Gucci’s highest profile collaboration last year, as well as a perfect example of his ability to steal the spotlight. To be fair, he gets help from E-40 and Bun, who both sound corny going through the motions here, but their out-of-touch verses only amplify Gucci’s vitality. “Recipe” also shows Gucci twisting language and molding words and rhymes to stylishly make his point. This verse starts off with a show-stopper: “Chef of the year, better yet the fuckin’ century/ Dread head killers with me, four deep in my Bent-uh-ly.” Next he uses one of his favorite ad-libs— “Scrrr!”— as a segue into a commanding two bars: “Scrrr! I’m in the kitchen scraping up the pottery/ Workin’ with my hands like the maestro at the symphony/ Sniff! I’m cocaina, shawty take a whiff of me/ Sniff-alufagus so nigga come and cop a E from me.” The verse kind of treads water at the end, but it’s enough that Gucci wrecked two verses from living legends in a little over ten seconds.
22. Gucci Mane – I Live in a TV
21. Gucci Mane – Haunted House
“Scarface Gucci!/ My life’s a motion picture/ Gucci Tarantino, Casino/ Gucci Pacino.” “I Live in a TV” bounces along with lyrics powered by familiar movie references, but like on the cartoon monument “Nickelodeon,” Gucci breathes life into a tired idea by simply being cooler — and, knowingly, sillier — than everyone else: “Call me Gucci Rocket/ Save me, freeze me, watch me/ TiVo!/ Your album came out, rated it/ What’s my response? I hated it!” Where Joe Budden and his ilk have eked out careers trying to out-nerd each other’s pop culture references, Gucci’s sense of style exists merely on another world, his own TV.
“Haunted House” is an atypical Gucci track; his voice is raspy and tattered and almost unrecognizable, like immediately after you wake up after drinking way too much. It also gives the track an added griminess, like on “Nickelodeon,” but over the “Haunted House” beat it has an almost campy horror. “Haunted House” is the most cinematically theatrical song Gucci made this year, just for the chorus alone. Backed by piercing and arching strings, Gucci’s “Bout to turn a nigga house to a haunted house” sets a rugged, visceral tone. To up the drama, as the strings reach higher and higher, his ghostly croak gets double tracked — it’s subtle but really effective. For the verses, the beat switches into this distorted clipped guitar sound, eery violin swells punctuating Gucci’s rhymes to, you know, signify that Gucci is currently creeping down your hallway. It should be a ridiculous stunt, but instead it hits all cylinders — a mixtape song with a concept that ends up being way more than the sum of its parts.