gucci mane - droptopwop / by Zack Free

gucci mane's release from prison in may of 2016 was a moment of rejoice within the hip hop community. though he had somehow managed to sustain his generous output from behind bars, everybody looking, released the following july, was regarded as a return to form. once one of hip hop's sharpest mcs, gucci had begun to sound like he was going through the motions in the years leading up to his release. with everybody looking, the mc seemed to regain his focus, supplying a tight fourteen song set produced mostly by frequent collaborators mike will made-it and zaytoven.

a year later, gucci is still going strong. his latest release (and his first of 2017) is a collaboration with producer-to-be metro boomin, artfully titled droptopwop. recorded within a period of two days, the project is thrillingly vital, a sonic toast between two of hip hop's hungriest entrepreneurs. metro and gucci have spectacular chemistry, the product of a long-standing working relationship that traces back to metro's high school days, and it shows; this is gucci mane's best set of post-prison tunes to date. the rapper is as nimble as ever, turning phrases with legendary ease ("i'm gucci mane la flare, i make five million a day / hold up, let me clarify, i made five million today"). he invites a few of his contemporaries to the party, including offset ("met gala"), rick ross ("loss 4 wrdz"), 2 chainz and young dolph ("both eyes closed"), and each brings his best. "met gala" is arguably the brightest moment here for all parties involved; offset gives quavo a run for his money as go-to migo, and gucci follows with due immediacy. furthermore, metro boomin's woozy production is hypnotic, made up of little more than a bass drone, some snares, and a synth that sounds like it was ripped from the x-files theme.

unsurprisingly, metro boomin's beats are consistent in their excellence, packed to the gills with haunted synths and overblown 808s. droptopwop is arguably up to par with savage mode, metro's acclaimed mixtape with 21 savage, particularly in terms of its stunning uniformity. the producer is incredibly talented at drawing the best out of his collaborators, laying out brilliant, gritty canvases that add texture to their finished works. the picture that droptopwop paints is one of breezy opulence, like watch the throne redone from memory, and in two days. it's a portrait of two artists in their prime, with no plans of slowing down C+