15. Gorilla Zoe ft. Gucci Mane – Georgia
14. Gucci Mane ft. Yung Ralph & Yo Gotti – Bricks
Where Field Mob and Ludacris used the Ray Charles sample as a tribute to their projects, Gucci and Zoe use it as you might expect: to up the drama as they rap about moving weight across their home state. Amongst Drumma Boy’s typically suffocating production it’s hard to tell exactly what’s being rapped, which is alright because it’s Gucci’s urgent chorus —”250 BRICKS THEY ON THEY WAY TO GEORGIA/ AND I’MA SELL THEM SHITS IN EAST ATLANTA, GEORGIA”— that elevates the song above your once-an-hour trap anthem. It’s also what makes Gucci and Zoe’s “Georgia” is as much about hometown reverence and pride as Field Mob’s lament.
And yeah, we all know it’s tough to say that a dude who is rapping about flipping coke is doing so with an extreme love and care for his city, but it’s impossible not to get that sense when listening to Gucci forcefully deliver this hook. The last line of the chorus, and the song, finds Gucci in prayer: “Lord please let this yay get back to Georgia.” Maybe that can be read as, “Lord please let this yay get back to Georgia where I will sell it and reap the benefits” but to me it’s sounds like an extension of what Jeezy so convincingly sold to us on The Recession. It’s hard times and Gucci wants to give back best he knows how.
“Bricks” hits its mark, too, and not for a different reason. At the surface it seems like trap-hop pro forma — smeared organ beat courtesy of mixtape MVP Zaytoven, Gucci saying “bricks” a lot— but on his verse (the first) Gucci drops one of his most sideways brilliant couplets: “My watch a cool hundred, paint job a cold twenty/ and after this flip I’m quittin’ the trap cold turkey/… syyyke.” Besides owning the non-rhyme of “twenty” and “turkey,” Borat couldn’t have hit the punchline any better. But really, like “Georgia,” “Bricks” is elevated by its chorus, which is not surprising considering how good Gucci is at making sure his songs have that indelible hook. Back to the Traphouse was rife with them: “Shorty asked me what time it is/ I said it’s fifteen minutes past the diamond, bitch”; “I got the bird flu shorty, sellin’ birds my business/ Catch that bird flu shorty, it’s a terrible sickness”; “Is you rolling?/ Bitch, I might be.”
Gucci’s way with choruses is another parallel he has with sworn enemy Jeezy. But where Jeezy aims for simplicity to achieve pop success — “When they hear that new Jeezy, all the dope boys go crazy” — Gucci, as on “Bricks” or on album track “I Move Chickens,” often packs a bunch of words into his hooks, almost bonus verses. These choruses are what anchor Gucci’s tracks across hundreds of mixtapes, zshares and YouTubes, and they are what make a Gucci song a Gucci song, even as he shuffles flows and production styles and collaborators. “Georgia” and “Bricks” are two of his best, but they’re really just a drop in the Pyrex.
13. Question feat. Gucci Mane – That Boy Bad
That this kind of track can just float along entirely under the radar is bizarre. The beat is kinda nuts, jumping from grinding bass + wind-tunnel whooshing to celebratory horns & distorted keyboard rolls, the sung ‘lalalaaa lalalaaaa’ during the hook and David Banner-style vocal punches during the verses. Question is a rapper who is good but too clever by half (“my cd come with popcorn / my album like a movie”), not bad but a little too ’04-era Kanye ‘clever,’ but Gucci’s verse is classic — “Gucci pull up, shawty go and tell everbody / Mazerati stankin’ like a god damn dead body,” “Money stackin up the point that i cant count it / i need a new accountant, lost my mind and still ain’t found it.” That says it all really.
12. Gucci Mane – Nickelodeon
Everyone mining half-assed Wayne leaks for a fascinating look into the mind of a perpetually weeded rapper slept on “Nickelodeon,” wherein a certainly-blazed Gucci and his shredded throat construct a monument to morning TV out of hilarious cartoon references over a Transformer of a Shawty Redd beat. Though nonsensical, “Nickelodeon” coalesces into an amusing whole — think Helga’s chewing gum bust of Arnold’s football head. Of course, it’s not that juvenile: “I still got it like that nigga with the weed kush/ Short temper throw a punch like I’m Heathcliff.” Then again, maybe it is: “I’m not Richie Rich, bitch/ But I’m rich as fuck.” Either way “Nickelodeon” was easily 08’s most schizophrenic song about trapping, where dead serious threats about deading you include the cutting insult, “I go hard/ Spongebob/ Nigga, you a lame” and a really intimidating one warns, “See I’m a Junkyard Dog not a Scooby Doo.”
11. Gucci Mane – Like a Lambo
I’m not really sure what to make of this other than dude kinda sounds like an asshole, but regardless, if he did this beat & got Gucci on it, hes at least done some good in this world (actually gotta give dap for bringing that classic big gipp single “Steppin Out”!!). It’s real good to hear Gucci spit over something so blatantly melodic, such a mercenary-style pop track, after entire mixtapes of trebly trap house rap tracks. Track is propulsive, with a cool skipping snare — by the way DJ Speedy cannot rap so dont bother with the non-mixtape version, which also inexplicably drops the 2nd Gucci verse. “If u leave your plan A I can be ya plan B.”