I bet you never thought you would see the name Gucci Mane and “magnum opus” in the same sentence, huh? But it’s true… the brand new, cordially titled studio album, Mr. Davis, is quite the production.
Sure. The 37-year-old Atlanta native did not hit the peak of his career until 2016—shortly after his release from a Georgia State Correctional Facility—landing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time in his career for his collaboration with rap duo, Rae Sremmurd.
The musical career of Radric Davis has undoubtedly been influential to mainstream Hip-Hop… having been a major influencer of the “trap” music subgenre.
For his eleventh studio album, available now from Atlantic Records, Gucci Mane decided to go with a much more professional appearance. Unlike how some musicians are able to just change their persona… Gucci has always just been Gucci. Only now, he presents himself with a much more business savvy and focused mindset.
The album opens with “Work in Progress,” a short, two-minute introduction track featuring Canadian producer, Murda Beatz, before spilling into the track, “Back On,” featuring Gucci’s long-time producer, Zaytoven.
His single, “I Get The Bag,” is a testament to the evolution of Southern Hip-Hop, with this posse cut featuring Atlanta rap trio, Migos, on a yet another Hot 100 heat seeker from producer Metro Boomin. But the hit parade doesn’t stop there. Gucci continues to bust out the red carpet for a slew of other guest stars, including Young Dolph, Slim Jxmmi, Ty Dolla $ign, Schoolboy Q, A$ap Rocky, Big Sean, Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj, who appear on some of the previously released singles, including “Tone it Down” and “Make Love.”
One of the album’s most noteworthy highlights, “Curve,” will have listeners swoon the second they hear the incomparable vocal talent of Toronto R&B recording artist, The Weeknd, who comes in on the hook.
At some moments on the album, Gucci also shows he is capable of toning down the trap. Featuring the sultry voice of R&B singer-songwriter Monica—who happens to also be an Atlanta native—the song, “We Ride,” gives listeners a glimpse of a much softer, more refined side of Gucci Mane than some fans may have come to expect.
Gucci wraps up the album with the track “Miss My Woe” featuring Rico Love. However, unlike some other noteworthy cuts, what makes this track special has little to do with harmony or tempo—it’s the lyrics. Gucci takes a moment to reflect on his time behind bars. His past decisions and the others still on the inside, while opening up about his friend and frequent collaborator, Shawty Lo, who died in a car crash back in September 2016.
To say that Mr. Davis is one of Gucci’s all-time best is easily justifiable, especially since the ten albums before it cannot come anywhere close. Gucci Mane shows he can be versatile too. But this doesn’t mean that we should expect Gucci to zip straight to the top of the charts just yet.
STREAM: MR. DAVIS – GUCCI MANE