Views From Zone 6. The title nods at Drake over a styrofoam cup. Released less than two weeks after Brick Factory Vol. 3 (which misleadingly suggested involvement from Lil B, but only foreshadowed the real deal on this EP), this mixtape EP is the umpteenth carceral collection from the East Atlanta firebrand currently serving time and getting bigger every day.
I’m not used to small doses of Gucci Mane. Slogging through Brick Factory Vol. 2 was a debilitating odyssey of temperance, but listening to eight tracks is just perverse. Even though Chicken Talk 2 is only 38 minutes long and Buy My Album clocks a paltry 18 (with a handful of releases somewhere in between), this smattering of meager offerings sharply contrasts the length and breadth of most Gucci releases. I’m used to sitting through 80 minutes of material and enjoying one or two songs.
With Views From Zone 6, there’s more at play than enjoying music. This EP boasts an impressive array of guest artists, but none are more peculiar than Andy Milonakis and Lil B. At first I was dubious about the Three Loco comedian’s verse on the song “Right Now,” which also features Chief Keef. The verse, it turns out, is actually quite bad. I was also a little dubious about the Lil B spot on “Rolling Stone” because of the spurious credits he received on Brick Factory Vol. 3. This time, it really is the Based God, and he does a great job on the track.
2 Chainz provides a fresh verse for “Eskimo,” another notable cut, while PeeWee Longway holds down “Count A Check” with ease. I wasn’t as impressed by Quavo on “Make Yo Move” or the Young Thug/Yung Gleesh collab “Bitter.” There are a lot of hyped drill artists and relatively fresh faces on this release; Lil B and 2 Chainz are the most veteran collaborators present.
Gucci himself does a good job, although none of his verses quite hit the mark set by some songs from last year. I did get a feeling of being left unsatisfied, and I’m wary to say that’s just because of how short the mixtape is. Once again we get another Gucci Mane release without a great deal of substance. I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever see another tracklist like on his first few albums, but I’d like to think that kind of thing could happen again.