Release Date: Sep 28, 2010
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Rap, Gangsta Rap, Dirty South
It’d be nice to say that The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted, Gucci Mane’s best album thus far, will finally bust him out of the "ironic appreciation from indie kids"/"pop-rap goofball" ghetto he’s been boxed in since 2008. But it won’t. There’s still too much baggage for Gucci to breakthrough to the Average Joes Lil Wayne-style. Firstly, there’s his voice, which he inadvertently perfectly described when he started shouting “brr” on every song on his 700 (estimate) mixtapes.
The Appeal, Gucci Mane's third major label album and first official album to be released since his release from prison, is destined to be underrated, if only because expectations were high. His rapping here is as great as ever, and many of the songs rank with his best material. But the LP arrived without much impact: Its singles failed to catalyze much of an audience, never mind reach the "Lollipop"-level ubiquity they aimed for.
The questionable consensus on mushed-mouth party rapper Gucci Mane is that his mixtapes beat his official albums by a mile, but The Appeal is another worthy, aboveground effort, holding more highlights than your everyday release while broadening the man’s horizons (something that certainly needed to happen). With ethereal production from the Neptunes and rapper Nicki Minaj delivering lines that are much more nimble than naughty (“I’m all that I can be/And I’ll admit, I’m appalled when you envy/Cause you can do it too/I just happen to be the girl that they threw it to”), “Haterade” is like nothing in Gucci’s earlier catalog, and when the closing “Grown Man” finds the usually sloth-like rapper rapidly explaining his family tree -- and all the bad apples that fell from it -- it’s downright shocking and solid. On the other hand, he’s lost none of his steadily stoned and constantly throwed appeal as he makes his somewhat slow guest Bun B sound like Twista on the opening “Little Friend.
The Appeal is a perfect study in what it is that separates a street rapper on the cusp of extreme mainstream acceptance with a street rapper that has no interest in approaching that point. So many of the moves it makes can be traced to current pop radio or Gucci’s surprise success story, The State vs. Radric Davis, and the mid-section of the album so unlike any Gucci Mane that has come before, that it is fascinating for being such an audio train wreck as it is for Gucci’s charismatic persona.