Gucci Mane – 1017 Mafia: Incarcerated Review

I never get tired of talking about Gucci Mane, and my friends and family members are starting to shutter their doors to me because of it. You can talk about your ex-boyfriend at length every time we hang out, but I say one word about a new mixtape from Atlanta’s favorite son and suddenly you want me to take you home? Does the name Radric Davis not give you cold chills and hot flashes?

In 2014, I spent a lot of time talking about what Gucci Mane did in 2014. Now it’s 2015, and we can start fresh, although I must dwell in the past for just a few minutes longer. Last we heard from Gucci Mane (it wasn’t that long ago), he was dropping a couple mixtapes: C-Note vs. Gucci compiles tracks produced by The Honorable for The Incarcerated, and East Atlanta Santa is the Christmas album for which we’ve always hoped (even though it’s not a Christmas album at all). Those both appeared around Christmas, less than two months after Big Gucci Sosa came out, a Chief Keef collaboration with some old songs and some new.

1017 Mafia: Incarcerated was released on January 3rd, and features 14 tracks over forty-six minutes. Unlike Trap House 4 and Trap God 3, which had relatively few featured artists on them, Incarcerated has guest spots on each track; in fact, some of them, like “Pick It Up” and “Ondalay,” are not recognizable as Gucci Mane songs, and “1017 Mafia” doesn’t even feature the performer at all. For these reasons, Incarcerated can be seen as part of the tradition of Brick Factory Vol. 1 and Brick Factory Vol. 2, the World War 3D series or Brick Squad Mafia.

The featured artists are routine: Migos, Young Thug, MPA Duke, MPA Wicced, PeeWee Longway, Young Dolph, Young Scooter, Rich the Kid, Sya Ari, Jose Guapo, OG Maco and OG Boo Dirty are all accounted for, and a solo Quavo verse graces the track “Skirt.” More interesting, however, are the three songs which Waka Flocka Flame is featured on. My eyebrows rose when I heard Flocka on the Brick Factory mixtape, and it’s still a surprise to see him here. While the beef between Gucci and Flocka is supposedly squashed, an official announcement has yet to be issued (as far as I know, that is. If 1017 Brick Squad has released a statement, please send it my way).

The other featured artist who deserves special mention is Raury. The Atlanta pop-rapper is not the type of person you’d expect to be on a Gucci Mane song (although, to be fair, Gucci has worked with Chris Brown and Plies before), but after the release of Indigo Child, Raury’s been receiving a lot of attention. Whether it’s a move meant to show Gucci’s relevance in the modern scene, an opportunity for Raury to associate his name with a bigger one (unlikely, given his work with Yeezy), or just a good pair-up, “Dead People” is one of the best songs on the mixtape. It’s also not a new song; it appeared on East Atlanta Santa and debuted online even earlier.

Listening to this mixtape, I kept waiting for something bad to happen. Much as I love Gucci, I can be a harsh critic, and these label roster releases generally don’t impress me. Then it was over, and I liked what I had heard. This isn’t the best Gucci release of his incarceration so far, and with a year or two to go, there are plenty more to come. This is simply an enjoyable little collection of songs, unassuming and humble, but with hidden powers and qualities. There’s not much more to say. Check it out, and in a couple weeks we’ll have a new one in front of us from the man behind the bars.

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