I’ll say this much for Gucci Crew II — the name of their album was 33% correct.

I’m not sure why Miami Bass rappers were obsessed with The Smurfs in the 1980’s, but we only needed one crossover rap song that mimicked their theme song. I’m not sure whether “Smurf Rock” or “Gucci Bass” is more annoying, but the reason it’s a toss-up is because I never want to listen to either song again. That’s going to be a familiar sentiment by the time I’m done talking about Gucci Crew II. They never explain what happened to the first version, but after the laboriously slow raps of “The Cabbage Patch” I don’t care what happened to them. Someone I podcast with is fond of saying he hates something so much he wishes a black hole would form underneath it and suck it out of existence entirely. That’s how I feel about this song.

“Rock the Bells was a hit until we came along.” Well unlike the title of “So Def, So Fresh, So Stupid” they were fifty percent right this time. It amazes me that this is considered to be a Miami Bass album when there’s no bass to it whatsoever. There’s a lot of percussion, no melody, and a painfully corny rap. Wait — I just described “Till the Day We Die” too. They compare themselves to Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys without having any of the personality or musical appeal anybody in either group has. Calling these bars nursery rhymes would be insulting to pre school emcees. “Pump that bass.” What bass? Where’s the bass? Seriously — they claim it’s “booming” in the lyrics and my speakers aren’t even moving. What gives?

This is just one man’s opinion so feel free to disagree but to me a classic Miami Bass song should be up-tempo, trunk shaking, have a good call and response section, and make you picture a wild party with or without a music video illustrating it. Sadly it’s also probably a little misogynistic but when your premier artists are men who revel in self-insert fantasies about sexual gratification that’s what happens. At least on “Sally (That Girl)” they got the up tempo part and the misogynistic part right. That’s a compliment… I guess? No, it’s not. The hook is fucking irritating and I hate this track.

Before we go any further it’s fair to say I should have seen this coming. Gucci Crew II’s deejay and producer was Disco Rick, who later split from the Crew to form The Dogs. That group was equally terrible, but at least they had one novelty hit that was memorable with “Crack Rock.” I suppose given the number of 12″ singles released off “So Def, So Fresh, So Stupid” you can’t argue they weren’t a success too, but I associate things like “Get ‘Em Girls” with the other Miami Bass rappers who sampled the phrase. This doesn’t even sound like a Miami song — it sounds like a bad imitation of New York.

There’s really not much else to say. You’ll find plenty of articles that refer to Gucci Crew II as “legends of Miami Bass” but listening to an album that’s anything but “So Fresh” I can’t understand why. The production is boring, the beats are banal, and they are clearly jocking people who have already risen to a star level way above their own. Imitation is argued to be the sincerest form of flattery but if you’re going to imitate successful emcees you should at least be good at it. I used to think listening to early Hammer records was painful but at least he understood production and hooks and how to make party music. This is music you’d play at a party when it’s over and you want everyone to leave.

Gucci Crew II :: So Fresh, So Def, So Stupid
2Overall Score