Gucci Manes latest mixtape, Writings on the Wall II, is chock-full of everything that has built him one of the most loyal followings in rap: fun, yet hackneyed rhymes; sticky, yet goofy hooks; and solid guest spots from his 1017 Brick Squad crew and others. Though its no less polarizing than any of his previous outings, its one of the most consistent batches of tracks Mane has released since he began to light up DatPiffs charts roughly three years ago.
Contrary to the implications of the tape’s title, Mane doesnt do much rhyming about his most recent prison stint here. Instead, he sticks to his usual topics: ladies, money, and the pros and cons of making questionable decisions. He does so atop the likes of Lex Lugers torrential high hats and Shawty Redds rumbling brass loops. His most clever lines are still pretty ridiculous and hardly impressive. (I call my secretary my sexatary/I sent that bitch a picture of my dicktionary,” he raps on Two Dope Boys”.) But when dealing with a tape of this nature, thats only a serious problem if youre expecting KRS-One levels of knowledge-dropping.
While the best part about the tape is its track-for-track coherence–unlike most of Manes releases, there isnt a single atrocious or incongruous moment here–the worst part is that there isnt much difference between its peaks and valleys. Nevertheless, its a hell of a step up from January’s Gucci 2 Time tape and signals that Manes upcoming album, the Waka Flocka Flame-abetted Ferrari Boyz (due next month), if a bit more focused and refined than this, might be something special.