Gunna – “Drip Season 4” review

This is the 5th mixtape from College Park rapper Gunna. Coming up in 2013 off his debut mixtape Hard Body, he would eventually catch the attention of local phenomenon Young Thug just 3 years later would go on to sign to his 300 Entertainment imprint YSL Records. However it wasn’t until the release of his debut EP Drip or Drown & his 4th mixtape Drip Season 3 in late 2017 & early 2018 respectively where Gunna’s profile increased significantly. Drip or Drown 2 though was a mediocre full-length debut & W.U.N.N.A. (Wealthy Unapologetic N***a Naturally Authentic) wound up being one of the best trap albums of 2020, but is kicking off 2022 by dropping Drip Season 4.

“private island” kicks the whole tape off with an acoustic trap instrumental from Wheezy talking about living it up whereas the violin-infused “pushin’ P” with Future & Young Thug finds the trio talking about percs. “poochie gown” then sees the So Icey Boyz mixing some piano chords & heavy bass talking about having a bad bitch in his penthouse & pathetically trying to throw a jab at Freddie Gibbs, but then Thugger returns for the thunderous “mop” going back & forth with one another very well.

Meanwhile on “thought i was playing”, we have 21 Savage tagging along on top of an entrancing Mike WiLL Made-It beat going at those who don’t take them seriously leading into “how you did that?” showing Turboworking in some keys & a flute to talk about the famous lifestyle even though Kodak Black’s parts don’t hold up to Gunna’s at all. “alotta cake” has these amazing harps from Metro Boomin’ getting materialistic just before “livin’ wild” shows off a well used Keith Sweat sample talking about going through changes.

“you & me” goes into a more sexual turf as Taurus samples Jon B, Chris Brown & Bri Steves all together while “south to west” once again gets boastful on top of a theatrical trap beat. Lil Baby comes into the picture for “25k jacket” going back to a more violin-influenced vibe talking about going back to back even though I wish it was a little bit longer than just 2 minutes while “too easy” with Future brings back the harps detailing how simple this rap shit is to them.

“idk that bitch” has a more cavernous sound to it as he & G Herbo call out those marrying women they don’t even know whereas “flooded” goes into a more guitar-driven direction talking about his ice. Nechie drops the worst feature verse on “life of sin” even though I really like the overall vibe of it, but then “die alone” with Chris Brown & Yung Bleu comes off as a painfully bland romance ballad.

The track “missing me” has a more cloudier vibe to it instrumentally addressing a woman who left his heart aching while the final actual song on the album “so far ahead > empire” starts off as a piano ballad talking about making it, but switches into acoustic turf expressing a desire to build an empire. As for the “too easy” remix with Roddy Ricch, I could’ve done without it.

For this to be the conclusion of the Drip Season series, I’d have to say it’s my 2nd favorite installment right behind the 3rd one. His production choices are continuing to get better with each project he puts out & the same applies to his performances, but overdid it on the features much like Thug did on Punk back in the fall.

Score: 3.5/5

YSL Records – “Slime Language II” review

This is the 2nd showcase compilation from Atlanta record label YSL Records. Founded in 2010 by trap trailblazer Young Thug & having been distributed by 300 Entertainment since 2016, the label has built up quite a promising roster within the last 5 years. Their most notable acts being of course Gunna & Lil Keed. The crew’s first showcase compilation Slime Language came out in 2018 to mixed reviews & as the 3 year anniversary of that original project creeps up this summer, Thugger & the gang are taking another jab at it on Slime Language II.

“Slatty” is a great way to kick off the comp as Young Thug, Gunna, Yak Gotti & Lil Duke get together over a siren induced beat from Southside whereas “Ski” shows off the chemistry between Thugger & Gunna over a string-heavy instrumental from Wheezy. The duo’s dominance continues as they pair up with Travis Scott on “Diamonds Dancing” to show off their expensive lifestyles over a piano trap fusion from Turbo, but then Drake & Gunna get together for the spacious party anthem “Solid”.

Meanwhile on “Came & Saw”, we have Young Thug bringing Rowdy Rebel on for a short verse & a lengthy hook to speak on how “you can’t put dirt on someone that’s clean” on top of a Viking-esque instrumental. He later goes on to to trade bars charmingly back & forth with Gunna on the dystopian-sounding “Paid the Fine”, but the Lil Baby verse at the beginning starts it off strong & YTB Trench’s finishes it off mediocrely.

“Proud of You” is clearly a remixed leftover from the Eternal Atake sessions that I actually enjoy up until the hearing Yung Kayo verse at the end, but then Thug & his brother Unfoonk hop on the country trap-flavored “Real” to talk about seeing their haters on the sideline. Karlae & Coi LeRay join forces for the cloudy R&B-tinged “I Like”, but then Lil Keed & T-Shyne manage to get Big Sean on the mystical-sounding “Warriors” to proclaim themselves as such.

“Pots & Pans” has a synth-heavy instrumental that I really enjoy & Lil Duke really shines on here, but NAV comes in & delivers a flat robotic verse that throws the vibe off. The song “WokStar” goes into a more ominous direction as Strick & Skepta speak on their celebrity status, but then “Superstar” marks Young Thug’s return as he & Future talk about how everyone wants to be famous these days over an acoustic instrumental with some rubbery bass.

“Came Out” incorporates a xylophone in the production as Gunna & Keed vaunt but then YNW Melly, BSlime & FN DaDealer come together on “Really Be Slime”, which is easily the most generic song on the entire compilation. “Take It to Trial” was a fun choice for a lead single & I like it even more in the context of the album, but then “Trance” by Karlae & Yung Bleu is a super redundant sex tune.

“G.F.U. (Get Fucked Up)” by Sheck Wes, Yak Gotti & Yung Kayo deliver some underwhelming bars about drug/alcohol usage on top of a Taurus instrumental with a bit of a chopped & screwed influence to it, but then the psychedelically-produced “Moon Man” finds Thugger & KiD CuDi getting together to compare life to a buffet.

“Como Te Llama” is a HiDoraah solo track that I much prefer over the one she had on the first Slime Language as she melodically goes into detail about wanting to know more about her partner, but then the Dolly White solo cut “Reckless” is even better as she goes into a more grittier direction both lyrically & sonically for 92 seconds. The penultimate track “That Go” by Meek Mill, T-Shyne & Young Thug is a hedonism ode with some prominent synthesizers & the album ends with a boring remix to “My City” by YTB Trench.

I was hoping for Slime Language II to be a step up above the predecessor, but it’s just as mediocre. Despite the label’s roster growing & improving, there are a handful of songs that should’ve been left on the cutting room floor. If YSL ever decides to do a Slime Language III at some point down the road, I hope it’s more well-curated.

Score: 2.5/5

Gunna – “W.U.N.N.A. (Wealthy Unapologetic N***a Naturally Authentic)” review

Gunna is a 26 year old rapper from College Park, Georgia that got his start in 2013 with his debut mixtape Hard Body. He would eventually catch the attention of local phenomenon Young Thug in 2016, who take Gunna under his wing & sign him to his 300 Entertainment imprint YSL Records that same year. However it wasn’t until the release of Drip or Drown & Drip Season 3 in late 2017 & early 2018 respectively where Gunna’s profile increased significantly. Last we heard from him was a little over a year ago with the disappointingly mediocre full-length debut Drip or Drown 2 but after doing a shitload of features since, he’s ready to deliver a sophomore effort.

The album kicks off with “Argentina”, where Gunna tells the story of 2 women following him to the studio over an acoustic-trap instrumental from Wheezy. The next song “Gimmick” speaks on being loyal over a slow yet intoxicating beat while the track “M.O.T.W. (Money On The Way)” talks about his new lifestyle over a piano & some snares. The song “Feigning” talks about partying over a Tay Keith instrumental with some orchestral loops while the track “Dollaz on My Head” with Young Thug sees the 2 getting materialistic over a cloudy beat from Mike WiLL Made-It.

The song “Addys” with Nechie is a tedious tribute to the drug adderall with a decent instrumental from Turbo & while I wasn’t too crazy on the vaportrap-flavored lead single “Skybox” at first, it has slightly grown on me in the context of the album. The titular song is a boring sequel to “Speed It Up” off of Drip or Drown 2 while the track “Blind Fold” with Lil Baby sees the duo flexing over a nightly instrumental.

The song “Rockstar Bikers & Chains” talks about what it’s like for him being on top over an incredible trap rock instrumental while the track “Met Gala” talks about having the finest clothing & I absolutely love how kaleidoscopic the beat is. The song “Nasty Girl / On Camera” is a raunchy 2 parter that works into one another fantastically while the track “Cooler Than a Bitch” with Roddy Ricch sees the 2 talking about how awesome they are over a Tre Pounds beat with a nice guitar loop.

The song “I’m On Some” opens up about people trying to leach him for his wealth over a spacious beat while the track “Top Floor” with Travis Scott is an infectious party starter with an instrumental kin to “Hot” off of Young Thug’s So Much Fun. The song “Don’t Play Around” talks about how he doesn’t have time for B.S. over an electronic-tinged beat while the penultimate track “Do Better” is a emotionally profound motivational anthem with a beat with a trippy atmosphere to it. The album finishes with “Far”, where Gunna & Thugger discuss how they didn’t think they’d get to the point where they are now over a woozy beat.

This is A LOT better than Drip or Drown 2 was & I’ll even say it’s the best thing that Gunna‘s put out since Drip Season 3. Couple of weak features, but most of them come together nicely. However, what I really enjoy the most about this album is how it sounds much more focused & consistent than it’s predecessor from the catchy songwriting & performances to the vigorous production.

Score: 3.5/5

Gunna & Lil Baby – “Drip Harder” review

 

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Gunna is a 25 year old rapper from College Park, Georgia who signed to Young Thug’s 300 Entertainment imprint YSL Records in 2016. He’s released his Drip Season trilogy of mixtapes over the course of those 2 years, with the first 2 from 2016 & 2017 respectively being average & the latest installment Drip Season 3 that came out at the beginning the year easily becoming Gunna’s best work yet.

Lil Baby on the other hand is a 23 year old rapper from Atlanta, Georgia who signed to Quality Control Music, Motown Records & Capitol Records while releasing 3 mediocre mixtapes just last year: Perfect Timing, Harder Than Hard & Too Hard. He even released his surprisingly consistent full-length debut Harder Than Ever just this past May & after a handful of collabs with Gunna over the past year, the 2 have decided to take it to the next level with a full-length collab mixtape.

The tape opens with “Off White VLONE”, where the duo link up with Lil Durk & NAV to deliver a boring sequel to “Chanel (Go Get It)“ off the recent YSL compilation Slime Language. The next track “Business is Business” sees the 2 talking about how they better get paid an eerie trap beat while the song “Belly” talks about how they have women like Taral Hicks’ character in the titular movie over an instrumental kin to Young Thug’s BEAUTIFUL THUGGER GIRLS. The track “Deep End” is a Lil Baby solo cut talking about how he has a gang feeling in him over a nondescript instrumental that doesn’t enhance the vibe at all while the song “World is Yours” is a Gunna solo cut talks about being a rockstar over a slow, laidback trap beat from Wheezy.

The track “Underdog” sees Gunna & Lil Baby reuniting to talk about how they feel like the titular idiom in today’s hip hop landscape over a spacey trap beat while the song “I Am” talks about they’re stuck in their own lanes over some piano keys & skittering snares. The track “Seals Pills” is a moody drug anthem while the song “My Jeans” talks about money over a bland Wheezy beat & I’m actually REALLY disappointed that Thugger only handles the hook on here.

The track “Style Stealer” is another Gunna solo cut albeit being about biters over a trap beat with an alluring woodwind in the background while the song “Close Friends” is a Lil Baby solo cut about how this woman became her girlfriend over a mellow beat. The penultimate track “Drip Too Hard” gets braggadocious over a moody, bass-heavy trap beat & then the closer “Never Recover” with Drake continues the vibe of the previous joint except with a more sinister atmosphere to the Tay Keith production.

There are some highlights on here, but it just comes off as a poor man’s SUPER SLIMEY. The production, the duo’s chemistry, their similar styles, nearly everything just comes off as VERY average at the end of the day.

Score: 3/5

YSL Records – “Slime Language” review

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YSL Records is a record label that was founded in 2016 by Atlanta trap superstar Young Thug & is distributed by 300 Entertainment. The label’s biggest signee as of right now is Gunna, who’s been featured all over the place this year. And to celebrate Thugger’s 27th birthday a day prior, he has released a compilation showcasing the artists on YSL.

The album begins with “Tsunami”, where Thugger gets sexual over some over a druggy trap beat from Wheezy. The next song with “U Ain’t Slime Enough” with Lil Duke & Jerrika Karlae sees the 3 shit-talking over a cloudy beat while the track “Gain Clout” talks about how people will do anything for fame nowadays & his speedy flow on here was unexpected yet amazing. The song “Oh Yeah” by HiDoraah has an instrumental kin to Young Thug’s previous mixtape Beautiful Thugger Girls, but her lifeless delivery does absolutely nothing for me.

The song “Audemar” with Tracy T sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a nondescript instrumental, but things do pick up on “Chanel (Go Get It)” as Thugger links up with Gunna & Lil Baby talking about taking their women on a shopping spree over a mellow Wheezy instrumental.  The song “Dirty Shoes” sees Thugger & Gunna talking the lavish life over prominent hi-hats & the track “It’s a Slime” with Lil Uzi Vert is a club banger, but it’s not as fun as when they collaborated on “Up” off of the Hear No Evil EP that Young Thug dropped back in April. The song “Scoliosis” with Gunna & Lil Duke is a hilariously raunchy sex tune with a gritty instrumental while I can appreciate the message on “Goin’ Up”, the Lil Keed verse is generic as Hell.

The song “January 1st” is about being flexed out over a decent beat, but the verse from Trap Boy Freddy ruins it. Primarily because he sounds like a pre-pubescent version of Young Thug himself. However, there was a line during the first verse where Thugger disses Russ & I just couldn’t contain myself from laughing. The song “Chains Choking Me” with Gunna pretty much speaks for itself over a druggy beat with an acoustic guitar buried in the mix while the song “STS” with Strick feels like a mediocre Beautiful Thugger Girls leftover. The penultimate track “Expensive” is a decent showcase of Young Thug’s sisters HiDoraah & Dolly as the 2 talk about getting wild over an instrumental that sounds like it was rejected during the LUV is Rage 2 sessions while the closer “Slimed In” is mostly dominated by Nechie, whose nasal auto-tuned delivery is annoying.

As a whole, this is compilation is a mixed bag. Young Thug himself & the production are ok & I can appreciate the fact that Thugger wanted to showcase the talent that he signed to YSL, but a lot of them don’t even stick out. It’s definitely for the hardcore fans.

Score: 2.5/5