Mixtape Of The Week

Mixtape Of The Week: Gucci Mane Diary Of A Trap God

By Claire Lobenfeld / September 11, 2013

No less than a month ago, Tom had this to say about Gucci Mane’s 2013 output so far: “[He] has always been happy to absolutely fuck up our collective music-listening schedules. ‘Prolific’ just isn’t a sufficient word anymore. I am not exaggerating for effect when I say that I’ve lost count of how many mixtapes he’s released in 2013, and I write that as a fan.” So, here we are again. Gucci has landed himself a Mixtape Of The Week nod for the fourth time (sixth, if you want to count World War 3 as separate honors) this year. But unlike the aforementioned trilogy, Free Bricks 2, his bouyant collaboration with Young Scooter, and February’s Trap God 2, Diary Of A Trap God comes with particularly weighty baggage.

Diary was allegedly intended to be a full-length LP, but was ultimately brought into the world by Gucci — who has actually been dropped from Atlantic Records’ roster — for free, instead. The reveal that he would be releasing it on his own came after a three-day-long public air-out of his personal grievances (or what I call a Gregarious Twitter Flex) including: the amount of money he will sell his former comrades to you for (Waka Flocka costs a million); indicting Waka’s momager, Deb Antney, as thief who has who has stolen from not only her son, but French Montana and OJ Da Juiceman, while under her management; and a slew of other mind-boggling claims, including a string of tweets about who in the industry (artists or significant others of artists) that he has slept with, either by himself or in tandem with Waka. In an industry where the notion of “running trains” on girls comes up often (look it up), that this was the kind of thing the two did together before their friendship crumbled isn’t terribly surprising, except when it’s about someone like Nicki Minaj. Nicki refuted the claims, throwing wicked shots back at Gucci, but ultimately acknowledging that these incessant Tweetbursts were likely caused by Gucci’s problems with drugs. SPIN’s Brandon Soderberg did an excellent analysis of the situation, which was published before Gucci announced the release of Diary, so he doesn’t surmise as to whether or not this was a publicity stunt. But it doesn’t read that way to me. It reads like a manic meltdown, which is totally the kind of thing that would inspire someone to release a full-length for free instead of through a label.

So, is this thing any good? Before you can even give it a spin, there’s the shock of looking at the tracklist. There are guest features from both Waka and OJ, as well as Tyga, whose girlfriend Chyna, Gucci claims to have bedded with Waka. That drama aside, the thing is stacked: the usual suspects Zaytoven, Make Will, Drummaboy, Lex Luger, and Southside have production credits while Young Scooter, Young Thung, and Young Dolph all have multiple guest verses. Akon, E-40, and Wiz Khalifa pop up in places, too. But certainly the biggest “get” on the tape is the uncredited cameo on “Pussy Wet.” The track opens with a high-pitched voice singing “you fancy bitch” repeatedly to the melody of the beat’s ominous synths that mutates into a familiar scraggle that doesn’t usually perform Lil’ B-informed, word-repetition hooks because, uh, it’s Marilyn fucking Manson. Marilyn. Manson. And. Gucci. Mane. Have. A. Song. Together. Granted, this was reported earlier this year, but I never believed I would actually hear it. And, to be honest, I haven’t really listened to the whole thing enough to give it a proper breakdown because within the first few seconds of the hook, I had already thrown my headphones off — not because I am a prude, but because seriously, what the hell? But I had to know if MC Brian Warner would give rhyme-slinging a whirl and he does, trading back-to-back bars about cameltoe and other parts of the womanly dark arts with Gucci in the second verse. Given Gucci’s candor about his exploits with Waka, this track doesn’t paint a particularly pretty picture. I would still recommend giving it a spin, but, thank goodness, it’s not a marker for the quality of the tape. Like all things Gooch, the collection is odd, but not to this extreme.

What feel most timely to the tape are songs like “Me” and “Nights Like This.” On the latter, he and Waka Flocka rap about murder and anxiety, sending out warning signals and cataloguing what circumstances would cause them to knock off which people. Despite both of their signature goofiness, none of this feels playful. Their split was reported back in March, so it’s likely this was recorded before then, but it’s one of the only times that Waka has sounded present this year (the other being on A$AP Ferg’s “Murda Something”) and the pointedness and particulars of their verses chill you to the bone. “Me,” on the other hand, is Gucci’s declaration of independence, a love letter to himself and his duties that he should be releasing when he’s writing off nearly every single person in his life. Who is “me” to Gucci? The only person to trust, the CEO and head of his own label, who he runs to when he has beef, and, yes, his own weed man. Other standouts include the other Waka collab “Choppers” and the Young Dolph and Young Thug-featuring “Virgins.” Gucci expressing surprise that his current girl is a virgin feels totally out of place on the track and can probably be discarded when talking about this song because Dolph and Thug flip it into slang, Dolph rapping about virginity in regard to never being “fucked out [of] his money” and Thug sounding like he hasn’t slept for four days and has been living exclusively on 5-Hour Energy drink. It’s the perfect foil for the beat, which sounds like it’s getting ready to launch itself into space. (Oh, and as far as virginity goes for Thug, it’s his gun and it isn’t one, natch.)

I can’t imagine this is the last we’ll hear, musically or otherwise, from Gucci Mane before the year is out. His Twitter finger must be itchy right now, but perhaps this will get him to continue to get out even more music. But in a better world, the yes men who have encouraged this bounty of music this year, as well as the people who don’t take his phone away from him, will intervene on his Bynesian behavior. And maybe that will what fuel the material for Diary Of A Trap God 2.

Download Diary Of A Trap God for free here.