Release Date: Dec 8, 2009
Record label: Asylum
The State Vs. Radric Davis should be retitled The Brrrprint, after his trademark "brrrr!" exclamation. Like Jay-Z's The Blueprint, it's a career-defining masterpiece. Gucci's opus isn't one man's dark battle against authority (he's currently serving time for probation violation), but a celebration of vitality, full of mush-mouthed descriptions of the Atlanta rapper's (born Radric Davis) insatiable lust for life, alcohol, drugs and strippers.
In March 2009, Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane came home from prison after serving six months for violating parole. Then, in November, Gucci violated again and went right back to prison for another year-long bid. That means Gucci only had about eight months of freedom in 2009. In that time he still managed to release, by my count, six mixtapes (including the three-in-one-day Cold War series) and one official album.
It’s been quite a year for Gucci Mane, arguably the most talked-about rapper of the moment. A current bid in an Atlanta prison -- the second this year -- for violating his probation has not stopped him from unleashing a publicity onslaught on a wider commercial audience, including weekly leaked tracks, remixes, professional and amateurishly produced videos, and interviews conducted over the phone from jail. Between his prison sentences this year, a period of roughly eight months, he worked hard to ensure his name stayed in the streets, releasing a steady stream of mixtapes (most notably the Cold War Series) and appearing on any track that would take him.
Gucci Mane is the most talked about rapper in the US, despite it often being impossible to make out a single word he's saying. His mumbling drawl is both obstacle and point of fascination; you're left cupping your ear trying to decipher his flow. You're engaged, but sadly everything else about the album is disappointing. Big-name producers (Bangladesh, Mannie Fresh) are on board, but nobody involved seems to have pushed themselves.