It’s been a long time coming for Gucci Mane’s introduction into mainstream America. He managed to become a force in the industry in-between murder charges, jail sentences and real beef with one of hip-hop’s biggest superstars. His buzz in every hood all over has been unbelievable, setting new standards for underground artists and what they can accomplish by feeding the streets with original (and free) material. There were two important questions that Gucci had to answer: 1. Could he capitalize on his enormous street buzz and turn that into record sales and 2. Could he create an album with new material that was better quality than his previous mixtapes? With the music for “The State Vs. Radric Davis” and early projections putting his first-week numbers around 100K, his answer is a resounding BURRR!
The album opens up comically with “Classical”, an oprea-styled track with a choir singing “Gucci” like their in a Catholic church. The album after that continuously hits hard track after track. What carries TSVRD are the great guest verses that provide a good balance from 60 minutes of Gucci. “Kush Is My Colonge” (Ft. Devin The Dude, Bun B & E-40), “Sex in Crazy Places (Ft. Bobby V, Nicki Minaj & Trina) and “Stupid Wild” (Ft. Cam’ron & Lil’ Wayne) are the best examples and are three of the best songs on here too. “Lemonade” (see video) and “Heavy” are just Gucci solo, but they go hard and really cater to his hardcore fans.
Part of what I believe Atlantic attempted to do is make him more commercially appealing by partnering him with R&B artists. The Keyshia Cole-assisted “Bad, Bad, Bad” was mediocre and the swing-for-the fences track “Spotlight” with Usher fell completely flat, even after the video dropped. The only good thing that came out of this was the removal of those old gold teeth.
TSVRD is a great balance of commercial and underground material that shows good range from an artist that most people thought had none. Hopefully, the music can carry his buzz until “The State” releases him in 2010.
Rating: 4 mics