'Woptober II' isn’t anything new

Gucci Mane’s latest release has some great features, but falls short on originality

gucci-mane-performing-at-the-williamsburg-waterfront

Gucci Mane performs in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in August 2010. Since his career began in 2005, Gucci has released 15 studio albums. 

Courtesy Jason Persse

Mr. East Atlanta Santa is back with a brand new album. Gucci Mane has been riding a huge streak of popularity since his release from prison in May 2016. With “Woptober II” — his second album of 2019 — Gucci is clearly looking to build on his reputation as a prolific artist.

Historically, Gucci’s albums have been enjoyable. “Everybody Looking” — released in June 2016 — has bangers like “Back on Road” and “Gucci Please” that were great then and are still great today — showing Gucci had potential for a major comeback after leaving prison. Other albums, like “Woptober” (October 2016) are less enjoyable — but Gucci’s singles and collaborations have remained excellent. 2016’s “Black Beatles” with Rae Sremmurd, “I Get the Bag” (2017) with Migos and “Wake Up in the Sky” (2018) with Bruno Mars and Kodak Black might be some of the best songs of the decade. 

Due to the ups and downs of Gucci’s career, fans were not sure what to expect from this album. Before the release, Gucci did an interview for Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” series. The interview definitely gives context to the album itself — especially when the amount of projects Gucci has released was discussed. “Woptober II” is Gucci’s fifteenth studio album and the 101st project he has released since he began his career in 2005. To give context, Barbra Streisand has released around 90 albums since her career began in 1963. The fact that Gucci has released so many projects is the defining problem of this album.

There are some highlights of the album. “Big Booty” is a great song — but that’s mostly due to the feature from the Queen of Hot Girl Summer, Megan Thee Stallion. She basically blows Gucci out the water on this song with lines like, “He wanna ride on a horse, he need to give me the keys to a Porsche.” “Came from Scratch,” which has a feature from Quavo and production from Tay-Keith, is great. The song focuses on Quavo and Gucci Mane’s come up in the rap game over the years and how the fame and the expensive items they have show they really have made it. 

Gucci and Quavo pair really well together, although the song could be a little longer. “Bucking the System,” with a feature from Kevin Gates and production from Zaytoven, is another great song from the album. The beat is nice and Kevin Gates’ features pairs well with Gucci’s flow. “Opps and Adversaries” is also pretty good — Gucci rides solo on this one, but his lyrics and the beat are pretty good. Unfortunately, that’s about it.

The other nine tracks on the album are mediocre at best — and truly bad at worst. One  mediocre song in particular is “Richer Than Errybody,” which features YoungBoy Never Broke Again and DaBaby. Gucci brings boring delivery and the beat is extremely average. YoungBoy Never Broke Again sounds like a poor imitation of Quavo. DaBaby has been the king of features in 2019, and provides another great one for this track. But a great DaBaby feature is like a Migos adlib — you know if the artist is there it’s going to happen. 

The rest of the tracks are just bad. There’s not much to say about them. The problem with “Woptober II” is the songs are very repetitive and focus on very similar topics — success, beautiful women, doing drugs and coming from the bottom. These are all common topics in rap music, but an artist has to find an interesting way to talk about them. Gucci has done this in the past, but now he has done it so much that it’s just stale. 

The problem is that Gucci Mane has released too many projects. In the Everyday Struggle interview Gucci said he constantly releases music because he feels that if he’s not releasing music he won’t be a hot artist in the industry. But you’re not a hot artist if you’re releasing music that nobody really wants to listen to, which is the best way to describe this album. Devout Gucci fans might want to give it a try. But for casual listeners, “Woptober II” is a skip.

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