It happened. Gucci Mane was recently released from prison after three long years. Trap fans are jumping for joy, rappers are paying homage (possibly out of fear) and the internet is in a complete and utter frenzy. And not only is Gucci back home, he’s right back to work. The first fruit of this is his new album “Everybody Looking.”
According to Gucci, a large portion of “Everybody Looking” was written behind bars, and it shows. The dark, vivid tales of this album are anything but “poppy” and feel a great deal like the proclamations of a man who’s been through Hell, or at least damn near close to it.
On the opening track, “No Sleep (Intro),” Gucci speaks of his former drug dealings as well as his serious drug addiction saying that he used to “drink a pint a day,” assumedly referring to his (and many of his rap contemporaries) former vice Lean. On the album’s first single and standout track, “1st Day Out Tha Feds,” Gucci talks of showering in his boots and going to sleep in his shoes and speaks of how he “did some things to some people that was downright evil.” This type of imagery brings a full sense of realness to the album, surely pleasing those who wholeheartedly want to praise Gucci rather than count him out.
There’s no doubt that Gucci’s language on this album gives the project a very serious and genuine feel, making it worth of some accolades. However, the delivery of such lyrics is lackluster at best. Gucci’s technical abilities are particularly limited, but let’s set those aside for a moment. Gucci Mane has always come across as a quantity over quality type of artist, releasing uncanny amounts of music over the years, even while in prison. While impressive, however, this mass production of work undoubtedly causes the end result to suffer.
“Everybody Looking” was made in a ridiculously short time span after Gucci was released from prison and the rushed factor of the result is all but subtle. While the beats are relatively mediocre and not at all unusual for this brand of hip hop, they do a decent job matching the dark picture Gucci paints. Unfortunately, that picture is more of a rough sketch as Gucci steers more toward unrefined flows and bland, mechanically arching vocals rather than a more thought out approach. This is not to say that Gucci did this by accident, but rather that he got in the booth and threw out the first stock template that came to mind, and unfortunately that foundation didn’t settle particularly well.
“Everybody Looking” finds Gucci with more to say than ever, yet with not nearly enough precision.