Album Review: Gucci Mane, ‘Woptober’

Written by Angelo Gingerelli

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Since debuting alongside Young Jeezy with 2005’s Icey Gucci Mane has had one of the most interesting careers in the music industry. He’s been incarcerated multiple times, dealt with drug addiction, had beefs with multiple other rappers, starred in the polarizing film Spring Breakers, got a face tattoo that instantly became a meme, put artists like Wacka Flacka Flame and OJ Da Juiceman in the game, collaborated with artists ranging from Lil’ Wayne to Mariah Carey and released an almost unfathomable amount of projects in the last decade. While Gucci has become the poster boy for the “Trap” aesthetic often dismissed by Hip-Hop purists, his influence on today’s artists in undeniable with his signature style being a direct influence on artists like YG, Young Thug and Fetty Wap.

Woptober is Young Guwop’s second release since being released from prison earlier this year and while the album will do little to convert non-believers, Gucci Fans will appreciate the thirteen track effort to get their Gucci fix for the last few months of the year.

The album starts off with “Intro: F**K 12” where Gucci starts to address his incarceration, but instead of discussing the trial or the situation itself, he repeatedly states his disdain for the jury with no real insight into his version of the events that landed him in a jail cell. There are several tracks like this on the record, including “Aggressive,” “Out the Zoo” and “Addicted” that seem like they are going to give the listener insight into Gucci Mane’s world, but instead end up being a rowdy good time that leave the listener fired up from the beat and chorus (more on this later), but not really knowing anything new about Gucci himself. This is not a new development, for most of his career Gucci Mane has been like the friend that starts a conversation with “Can I talk to you about something?” and then immediately says “Oh, It’s nothing. Let’s go have a beer.” His extensive catalog includes dozens of songs that seem like they are going to get into his psyche, but devolve into more turnt-up trap music.

There are surprisingly few collaborations on Woptober with only Young Dolph and Rick Ross checking in with pretty average verses. The production is typical Gucci Mane with beats that will rock Trap Houses, Frat Houses and everywhere in between. Even Gucci-Haters would be hard pressed to say this collections of beats doesn’t go hard.

Overall, Woptober is another solid, if unspectacular, release from Gucci Mane. While his influence and hit songs are undeniable, to truly become one of the best of all time he’s going to have to find a way to incorporate more of himself and his crazy life into his music (like 2pac, Eminem or Joe Budden) to connect with fans on a more personal level and propel himself to the upper echelon of all-time greats.

Best Songs: Aggressive, Wop, Hi-Five
Perfect For: Party Time
Rating: 6 out of 10

Also Worth Checking Out…

Dave East – Kairi Chanel: Harlem’s Dave East shows why he has a co-sign from Nas and a newly inked contract with Def Jam on his newest mixtape.

The Game – 1992: This full-length ode to the early 90’s combines references to Rodney King, The LA Riots, Wu-Tang Clan and OJ Simpson over production that sounds like it could have been made during that era to make one of the most interesting releases of the year.

Slaine – Slain is Dead: Boston’s Slaine drops an EP that addresses his family, career and newly sober lifestyle with a project that’s short in length, but long on impact.

Angelo Gingerelli has been contributing to The Pop Break since 2015 and writing about pop culture since 2009. A Jersey shore native, Gingerelli is a writer, stand-up comic, hip-hop head, sneaker enthusiast, comic book fan, husband, father and supporter of the local arts scene. He likes debating the best rappers of all time, hates discussing why things were better in the “Good Ol’ Days” and loves beating The Pop Break staff at fantasy football. You can catch up with Angelo on Twitter/IG at @Mr5thRound, at his website www.FifthRoundMovement.com or interviewing rising stars in NJ’s Hip-Hop scene on “The A&R Podcast” (iTunes/SoundCloud).