Trap House 3, Gucci Mane, 5/21
by Luke Smith-Stevens on June 2, 2013
Posted in: Album Review, Hip Hop, Uncategorized
Gucci Mane, CEO of the 1017 Brick Squad label on Warner Bros. Records, is the most prolific artist of the moment in hip-hop, and probably in all of music. The Atlanta rapper has flooded the market with his material, reminiscent of Lil Wayne’s run of mixtapes and albums from 2006-2008. In 2013 alone, Gucci has already released four mixtapes, solo projects Trap God 2 and Trap Back 2, and Free Bricks 2 with Young Scooter and EastAtlantaMemphis with Young Dolph. Clearly, the man who also goes by Guwop is not lacking for creative output. On May 21, he dropped Trap House 3, the final installment of the Trap House series, and his 8th studio album.
The album features few surprises, and at this point, it would seem pretty naive to expect anything new from Gucci Mane. The opening track, “Trap Back III”, employs a slow snare beat with an eerie piano loop on the hook, courtesy of frequent collaborators 808 Mafia, and Gucci’s creeping delivery slows down to a bare whisper. This minimalist delivery is featured on many of the album’s songs, and it is most effective when it is most exaggerated. On “Darker”, Gucci stretches his bars out so much that his verses take an almost sing-song quality, “Bitches on my dick cuz my skin real dar-ker, got a yellow bitch and the devil wears Pra-da”.
But despite Gucci’s ability to draw you in with his slow, syrupy tales of trappin’ and the spoils thereof, TH3 can be undeniably repetitive at times. There are stretches of the album which sound so similar, between Gucci’s growling voice and predictable subject matter, that the songs bleed together. Tracks 6 through 9, “I Heard”, “Fuck With Me”, “Thirsty”, and “Can’t Trust Her” are almost painfully similar, all revolving around the untrustworthiness of money-hungry women set to familiar trap beats. Putting aside Gucci’s unceasingly problematic treatment of women, these songs are all moderately enjoyable, but not enough to warrant having so many reiterations on one album. There’s really no need for TH3 to have 22 songs, especially when so many of them sound so similar.
Fortunately, Gucci breaks away from this pattern enough to make it Trap House 3 worth a listen. On the previously mentioned “Trap House III” and “Darker”, Gucci steers away from the indignant playboy motif and goes back to the hardcore trap-rap that has made him one of the most influential rappers of the trap era. Rick Ross and Chief Keef give assists on those two tracks, and 2 Chainz jumps in on the album’s highlight, “Use Me”. Produced by Honorable C.N.O.T.E., Gucci matches a mocking chorus with one of his strongest verses on the album, “Ain’t a boss than I can’t sip lean witya, I’m not a rapper bitch I’m a mob figure”, but 2 Chainz steals the show, ditching his usual celebratory style for an aggressive verse that is guaranteed to get your heart rate up. But it’s not one big ATL love-fest, for on “Birds of a Feather” Gucci pulls no punches in readressing his beefs with other notable Atlanta rappers Yo Gotti, TI, and Young Jeezy.
Trap House 3 is essentially representative of Gucci Mane’s career at this point. He can be trusted to put out a ton of material, in number of releases and songs per release, and he is going to stay within his comfort zone with regards to content. That leads to a lot of repetitive material, but it also means that the listener can sift through and find some GuWop gems. TH3 isn’t pretty, and neither is Gucci, but it is reliable, as any good trap god should be.