Producers: Drumma Boy, Lex Luger, Mike WiLL Made It, Shawty Redd, Others.
Cast aside any misgivings you may have about Radric Davis aka Gucci Mane, if you’re reading this then you’re likely familiar with the caliber of music Gucci’s best known for. Regardless of his public perception as a detriment to Hip-Hop, I’m Up sounds better than anything Gucci released in 2011; possibly because at said time the Brick Squad CEO needed a parole hearing just to put Mayo on his sandwich. And that right there was the rapper jail joke required for any and all Gucci Mane reviews. Now, let’s move forward, amicably. Despite dropping a disappointing album (not including the dreadful Ferrari Boyz album), numerous unofficial mixtapes, and obvious troubles with the law, Gucci’s fans remain loyal. The hiatus was kind to Gucci; his rhymes are sharp, references refreshed, and his ear for beats without waiver.
“Without Me” is I’m Up’s leadoff song but serves as more of a statement track than anything else. The mixtape’s title track featuring 2 Chainz is where Gucci really starts the engines. “I’m Up” is a standout solely because a feature from the highly-sought after 2 Chainz is at present a virtual must for any high profile mixtape (or a remix). I mean, the man is seriously selling verses like hot cakes.
Gucci proceeds to impress on “Cyeah x4.” But in what seems to be a reoccurring trend, the guest verses contribute nothing but headaches. Weezy makes an appearance here but his contribution isn’t even close to the pre-incarceration Wayne whom many embraced for bodies of work like No Ceilings. This may lead one to ponder, how much did being locked up take out of Lil Wayne? (A bout that T.I. himself is currently dealing with). The other guest on “Cyeah x4” is Chris Brown. If you’re in the minority that enjoys a singer who needs his voice digitally enhanced stepping into rapper shoes then you’re either one of his adoring fans or you think Hip-Hop was invented by the government. For the rest of us, let’s move on.
It doesn’t get much better than Gucci Mane skating on Lex Luger beats, which is what makes “Kansas” one of the mixtape’s most impressive records. The winning dynamic is again repeated on “Spread the Word.” It was Drumma Boy however, who had the biggest influence on I’m Up, producing five tracks, including “Put on a Show” and “Brought Out Them Racks” featuring Big Sean. No Gucci Mane mixtape is complete without a Shawty Redd collab and luckily, we get one with “Gymnast. As the hook goes “I’m flippin’ chickens I’m a gymnast’,” Gucci has infinite metaphors for dealing drugs, personifying a sort of trap rap encyclopedia that makes Noah Webster look like a teenager with emoji.
I’m Up is everything you expect from a Gucci mixtape, obnoxious references to money, drugs, and women; Gucci’s holy trinity. But more than that however, it’s the quality that’s been sorely missed since his Burrprint series circa two years ago and more recently, his joint mixtape with Future, Free Bricks. Since Gucci hit the scene in 2005, many thought he would be the South’s biggest star. But thanks to his legal troubles, he’s had to postpone those aspirations and sit idly by as artists like T.I., Wayne, Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, and even his protégé’ Waka Flocka Flame enjoy that crossover commercial success that has eluded the MC. Now that there’s little in his way, I’m Up looks to be the spark needed to restart Radric’s campaign for super stardom.
I hope you enjoyed this review of I’m Up by Gucci Mane, my name is Argenys Collado and this is TheSource.com.