When infamous Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane went to prison on a slew of charges ranging from parole violations to disorderly conduct in late 2013, many thought we would barely hear a peep from the president of 1017 Records for the remainder of the decade. However, that’s been the opposite of the case, as 23 albums, mixtapes and EPs have been released online since he was last a free man.
“Dessert” is a three-track EP that is meant to accompany a the mixtape trio of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner that was released earlier in March. As far as how those releases fall in with his other projects, they are typical Gucci Mane cuts: straightforward trap rap with lyrics and hooks that are average at best.
But with “Dessert,” think we see a “sweeter,” more accessible sound that is often lost in the monthly dump of the rapper’s material. The EP is short (clocking in at exactly 10 minutes), simple and to the point. And while it may be a bit repetitive, it shows an accessible side of his catalog that hasn’t been prevalent since the 2012 mixtape Trap Back.
The EP’s first track, the Honorable C-Note-produced “Don’t Make Me Mad,” is a low-key, autotuned cut that is reminiscent of fellow-Atlanta artist and collaborator Future. While it’s easy to imagine a cringe-worthy pop-rap song with autotune covering up Gucci’s singing voice; the tool’s use is much more in line with Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreaks era material and the aforementioned Future’s material. Autotune is used to enhance the vocals, not salvage them.
Gucci repeats the hook of “please don’t make me, please don’t me mad” in a subtle-but-catchy way that comes off as a kind of genuine intimidation. It’s as if he really doesn’t want to show you what he’s made of, but he will if he has to. This delivery paired with a moody mix of piano loops and synthesizers makes “Please Don’t Make Me Mad” an interesting, dark addition to the rapper’s ever-growing repertoire.
Second on the tracklist is “Play Too Much,” a song produced by Mike WiLL Made-It that doesn’t shy too far away from the typical trap-rap formula. But if you give it a close listen, the nonsensical hook about eating too many M&M’S and spending too much money begins to stick in your head. Also, you can hear Gucci deliver some surprisingly tongue-twisting wordplay towards the end of the track.
Gucci returns to autotune on the final track with positive results. “I Came to Ball” is a bit more upfront in the arrogance department than “Don’t Me Mad.” but it still delivers a similar, catchy punch. While the track is lacking in the lyrical department moreso than the other two, lyrics aren’t really a drawing point for any Gucci Mane release.
Overall, “Dessert” is exactly what it intends to be. It’s a quick, sweet taste of what Gucci Mane can do on his best days. It’s much more digestible than a 30+ song dump that was the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner trilogy; and hopefully he and his producers will opt for this kind of release more often going forward.