Gucci Mane fought the law and the law won, he admits on The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted, which dropped Tuesday (September 27). But that doesn't mean one of the most street-loved MCs in the game can't bounce back with a diamond-encrusted smile.
The album, his second in less than a year, starts with a surprisingly menacing track courtesy of Rodney Jerkins, who's had undeniable success providing tracks for the likes of Brandy, Ray J, Destiny's Child and, of course, Michael Jackson. Jerkins brings alarming horns fit for any gangster-flick soundtrack.
"Could have been a doctor, should have been a lawyer," Gucci raps on the chorus. "Go to court so much, I could have been my own employer/ I'm a dope boy, always been a hustler."
"That's me featuring Bun B," Gucci said of the song. "That's the intro for my album. It's raw, it's 'hood, but it's different. Of course me and Bun B, it's underground, but it still has a lot of pizzazz to it."
The Neptunes give Gucci a club bounce on "Haterade," a record about evolution and reflection. "Don't you feel stupid, look how I did it," Nicki Minaj raps on the track. "Look how it came to pass/ When I said it/ We can do debit/ I don't need no credit/ Yes, I'm epic, look how I rep it/ It's been eight years/ But I broke the record/ Yep the record, yep the record, yep the record (just for the record)/ I'm all that I can be/ And I'll admit I'm appalled when you envy."
"I feel that's a summertime record," Gucci said in August on the L.A. set of his video for "Gucci Time." "It's a great record, different record. It's me and Nicki, our first time together talking in depth on personal things. It's a different approach than people thought we would have."
On "Grown Man," Mr. LaFlare enlisted guest singer Estelle to express his newfound growth and mental freedom. "That's a special song on the album," Gucci said. "It talks about the transition from getting out of jail, then making mistakes in your life, sharpening your focus, taking responsibility for what happened in your life."
The album's lead cut is "Gucci Time," which was produced by and features Swizz Beatz, who also does double duty on "It's Alive."
"Me and Swizz recorded five or six songs," Mane said. "It was a pleasure recording with him. Out of the six songs we did, all of 'em could have been hit records. But this definitely feels like the song to go with right now, so we pushed forward."
Will you pick up The Appeal? Let us know in the comments!