ALBUM REVIEW: Gucci Mane leaves a cold impression with ‘Ice Daddy’

Gucci Mane, Ice Daddy

Gucci Mane has made a name for himself as a cornerstone of the trap movement that dominated the last decade of hip-hop. His prolific output of albums and mixtapes have earned him success and a large following, but sooner or later you’re bound to hit a snag.

Ice Daddy
Gucci Mane
Atlantic, June 18

Ice Daddy struggles from similar issues as Moneybagg Yo’s A Gangsta’s Pain, delivering what is effectively two or three good songs that are then then replicated to pad the runtime. At best, Ice Daddy delivers on quality guest features like E-40 and Project Pat while delivering a handful of decent beats to carry some of the songs.

The singles leave a lot to be desired. “Poppin” opens the album with a light piano melody and decent verses from Gucci and BigWalkDog. It’s followed by “Posse On Bouldercrest,” which tragically underuses Sir Mix-A-Lot as he is relegated to mere ad-libs over the hook. The production on “Like 34 &8” falls flat, with what seems to be a clean, synth-led instrumental that gets interjected by poorly mixed piano flourishes over the beat that come in at random.

Much of Ice Daddy is plagued by forgettable verses and instrumentals, making the album drag on. With more than half of the album dedicated to stroking Gucci Mane’s financial ego, as he raps about stacks on stacks of money piling up, his expensive taste in jewelry and fashion, driving high-end luxury cars and hooking up with women left and right—it gets increasingly tired, lazy and boring.

Songs like “Boy Style,” “Never Runnin Out Of Money” and “Fold That Money Up” benefit from quality arrangements. The latter two deliver verses from E-40 and Project Pat, who outshine Gucci Mane on his own song. The use of a synth organ, flutes, clapping snares and heavy helpings of reverberated bass deliver on classic trap elements, perfect for the club or the car.

Gucci does explore a bit more on the album, reflecting on his career and past at points; but seldom is it anything more than brief acknowledgement. “Trap Shit” serves as a drug-anthem, diving into the life of dealing and using, with a slow and mellow beat to match the inebriated state of those under the influence. “I Got It” examines Gucci Mane’s hold on the music industry, with a guest verse by Lil Uzi Vert (this one probably would’ve benefitted without his verse).

“Shit Crazy” and “Gucci Coming 4 You” see Gucci Mane display his influence among gangsters, with the latter track evoking the creepy nursery rhyme from the “A Nightmare On Elm Street.” “The track features the sounds of cocking guns overlaid with shimmering synths. It’s bold but quickly overstays its welcome.

It’s disappointing to see an artist as active as Gucci Mane deliver what comes across as a half-finished album. With underwhelming instrumentals, repetitive songwriting and guest verses carrying the best moments of the album, Ice Daddy is more of a chore than a joy to get through.

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(4) Comments

  1. Shy Bandz

    You don’t even look like you could even relate to anything Gucci Mane raps about. You not about that life. A 3/10? This album reminds real Gucci fans of the reason why we even listened to him in the first place. You probably dont even understand why he started rapping to begin with.

    1. Kinggunna

      Yo shy bands ! You took the words out my mouth! This McLoving fake ID looking MF don't know shit about Gucci ! I only skipped a couple songs on this album, This album reminded me of big gut Gucci

  2. Mike Niles

    I agree with the others pretty much^ Be careful when you review a legend. Although it is your opinion--I respect that. And those aren't random piano flourishes on "Like 34 & 8," when making a beat one of the last things you want is to sound generic and repetitive. Pretty sure that Mike Will Made It, one of the GOAT producers YOU probably know from "DAMN.," did not randomly place piano, lmaoo that's when you lost me completely, bruv

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