With a slew of off-the-mic transgressions in recent years, Gucci Mane has been the focus of a lot of criticism, but, in the case of ATL spitter Young Thug, one thing the "Lemonade" rapper can't be called is "a bad mentor."
In addition to signing Young Thug to his 1017 Brick Squad label, Gucci teamed up with the "Danny Glover" rapper for an entire mixtape titledYoung Thugga Mane La Flare.
Like most things with the name "Gucci Mane" attached, it represents the trap to the fullest. Hard-hitting bass, ominous keys and gritty stories of street glory and 'hood stardom lace this joint effort, starting with the opening track "Hot Boyz."
"They call me Big Gucci, Big Gu-ap when I drive my hard top ... If you ain't down with Brick Squad n---a you'z a have not/Man we showin' out in the parking lot, and we shoot out the parking lot/Kill a n---a for a parking spot, so sad your friend got chopped/I ain't gonna show remorse at all, I'll leave and smoke a whole crop," Gooch spit.
The Brick Squad general continued to take the lead on songs like the extra boisterous "Ride Around the City" and "Need," which served as YTMLF's best ode to excess with excessive use of the titular word with lines like, "My b---h say that she about to leave/She say that I don't cater to her needs/I got more cars than I need/I got more broads than I need/I'm in the trap screaming, 'N---a what you need?'/Bought a rolex that I didn't really need."
For his part, Young Thug mostly played the part of Future (sans the Auto-Tune), half-singing, half-rapping and, like his boss, he kept his subject matter grounded in the narrative of street Superman. His most prominent verse was on "Stoner 2," the de facto sequel to one of his first major hits, "Stoner."
"I cash out on b-----s, my weed smell like chitlins these n----s don't really want problems/I come through your set with that carbon, your children won't have no father," Young Thug rapped on the electric guitar-infused track.
Overall, YTMLF was unsurprisingly limited when it came to subject matter. Songs like "Don't Look at Me," "Let Some" and "Took by a B---h," while solid from a production standpoint, all focus on the usual inherent distrust for women, depreciating assets and demands for respect that comes with the trap.
The highlight at this point in the game for Gooch and Young Thug is "OMG," the mixtape's low point, which at times even allows the listener to wonder if it was intended for comic relief.
Still there's a bit of promise. Despite what goes on in Gucci's life, he continues to make music and build his roster, and well, they say, practice makes perfect; and Young Thug is just getting started.
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(Photo: 1017 Brick Squad Records)