The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted
|The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted|
|Studio album by Gucci Mane|
|Released||September 28, 2010|
|Genre||Southern hip hop, Hip hop, Rap|
|Label||1017 Brick Squad, Asylum, Warner Bros.|
|Producer||Radric "Gucci Mane" Davis (exec.), The Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, DJ B-Do, Joey French, Drumma Boy, Zaytoven, Schife, OhZee, The Individualz, Fatboi, Lex Luger, G-Luck, Rob Holladay, The Inkredibles, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Jim Jonsin|
|Gucci Mane chronology|
|Singles from The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted|
The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted is the seventh studio album by American rapper Gucci Mane. The album was released September 28, 2010 on 1017 Brick Squad Records, Warner Bros. Records and Asylum Records. The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted is the follow-up to 2009's The State vs. Radric Davis, released just after the Atlanta rapper's incarceration. The album debuted at #4 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with 61,450 sold in its first week; it has sold an estimated 169,500 copies as of the week ending August 21, 2011.
In November 2009, Gucci Mane was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in Georgia's Fulton County Jail. After he was released in May 2010, the rapper released a series of mixtapes, tracks and viral videos. These works included "The Burrrprint 2", "Mr. Zone 6", "Jewelery Selection", "Ferrari Music", "Buy My Album" and a collaboration with Diplo (DJ), "Free Gucci". He also changed the name of his label from So Icey Entertainment to 1017 Brick Squad Records and announced that his next album, The State vs. Radric Davis, The Appeal, would be released in late 2010. The title was changed to The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted, with a release date of August 31. Gucci Mane later announced on Twitter that the album had a release date of "Septemburrr 28, 2010" [sic].
During an interview with Atlanta DJ Greg Street, Gucci Mane stated the album was good representation of where he is "musically and mentally." "I done grown a lot and I think I expressed it really good musically and I just want everybody to hear it and see what they think about it, because I put a lot of time in it and it’s definitely my best foot forward right now. In addition to longtime producers Zaytoven, Shawty Redd, Drumma Boy and Fatboi, Gucci Mane has expanded his circle of producers or the album. The Appeal will include first-time collaborations with Swizz Beatz, former Haitian presidential candidate Wyclef Jean and Pharrell Williams. "The new people I did songs I actually made hit record with them. I made six records with Swizz, I made six records with Pharrell. And then I picked the best ones. I think this is a classic." With the completion of his follow-up album, Gucci Mane said that this is his best chance to capitalize on his underground allure. He told MTV that he considers this album to be a masterpiece. "The Appeal is officially finished. It’s mixed and mastered, and the artwork is done. I’m just out here promoting it and letting everyone know it’s coming. Just bring awareness to it ’cause I want everyone to know it’s coming and to support it because it’s a masterpiece."
Gucci Mane confirmed that guests on the album would include Bun B, Swizz Beatz, Ray J, Nicki Minaj, Pharrell Williams, Wyclef Jean and Estelle. It seemed that there would be no appearances by Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad members Waka Flocka Flame and OJ Da Juiceman; however, an inside source confirmed that Gucci Mane rekindled his relationship with Auntie Deb (Waka Flocka Flame's mother) and returned to Mizay Entertainment.
Release and promotion
National promotional tour
Around September 2010, Gucci Mane announced a promotional tour for The Appeal; since his release from jail, he has maintained a busy touring schedule and plans to continue his life on the road with appearances throughout the country: "I set out five years ago to be the #1 rapper in Hip-Hop. That journey continues with an even sharper focus."
On March 17, 2010 in Burbank, California Gucci Mane, 1017 Brick Squad Records, Asylum Records and Warner Bros. Records announced plans to release the first installment in a series of commercial mixtapes (Burrrprint (2) HD), a follow-up to the mixtape release of 2009. Burrrprint (2) HD was released April 12, 2010 on the iTunes Store and in stores the following day. The 24-track mixtape, hosted by DJ Holiday, is a mix of new songs and interludes. Featured artists include Trey Songz, Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Lil' Kim, Yo Gotti, Jim Jones and Gucci Mane's 1017 Brick Squad Records labelmates Waka Flocka Flame and OJ da Juiceman.
This collection was the last music Gucci Mane recorded before his 2009 incarceration; its opening track, "Live From Fulton County Jail", was recorded over the phone from behind bars. "Gucci called me from Fulton County and told me to start recording," says DJ Holiday. "He busted a hot verse right there on the phone and that's what you hear on the record, with the 1-minute automated warning and all, 'you have one minute remaining', it's so real." "Many of my fans know me from the massive amounts of mixtapes I've released over the years," said Gucci Mane when he was serving his one-year sentence for a parole violation. "The Burrprint 2 mixtape is just something I wanted to put out there as a thank you for all those who have stuck by me through my incarceration, all those who have written letters, this is for you… I will be home soon."
The mixtape series preceded The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted. The Burrrprint (2) HD followed on the heels of DJ and producer Diplo's Free Gucci mixtape (a reworking of previous material from Gucci Mane's The Cold War mixtape series) and Gucci Mane's second full-length LP, The State vs. Radric Davis, which included the single "Wasted".
Gucci Mane was busy after his release from prison. The rapper appeared at Atlanta radio station Hot 107.9's birthday party, filmed a video for Lil Wayne's "Steady Mobbin'", planned a collaboration with Drake and released another set of mixtapes (including Mr. Zone 6, which he told Mixtape Daily would be the "Mixtape of the Year"). "Biggest mixtape of the summer, by far," Gucci Mane said about his tape, an ode to the neighborhood in Atlanta where he grew up. "When y'all get it, guarantee I win Mixtape of the Year."
Gucci Mane's first post-prison mixtape of 2010, Mr. Zone 6, was another outing for the rap artist. "The thing about me and Gucci, we don't even know when we're gonna go in," added DJ Drama, who hosts the tape. "We'll talk for, like, six months: 'You wanna do the tape? Yeah?' Then [I'll] get the call like, 'Yeah, we ready.' If you watch how we drop, we always drop around something special." "We come up with the craziest concepts, craziest ideas," Dram continued. "Gucci don't give me a lot of time [to put the tapes together]. But somehow, someway, when I hear [the songs], I be talking that sh--. I don't be knowing what comes over me. We like five tapes in, in two years." "We're like five tapes in," Gucci reiterated. "This one right here, it's got a different feel to it. It feels good! We got some bangers on there." "'Stove Music,' shout to Waka. 'It's Goin Up,' shout to Yo Gotti and Bun B," Drama said. " 'Georgia's Most Wanted,' 'Koolin' is serious. It's not fair, man. It's a cold summer, baby."
Jewelry Selection was released August 17, 2010. "Gucci Mane is out on the road, getting that show paper. Mr. LaFlare says he has to look his freshest for the people, which means an assortment of ice to shine, hence the name of his latest mixtape, Jewelry Selection." "The mixtape came out, 700,000 downloads in, I think, 30 minutes," Gucci told MTV News. "Some people say it's my best mixtape ever. There's definitely a lot of songs that I could have put on my album on this mixtape. Something just to get the people ready to know that I'm coming. I don't want them to be surprised when they hear my album how slick and clever I am on the mic. It's just a prelude." "I gave you nothing but classics," DJ Holiday, who hosts the tape, said of his and Gucci's latest collaboration. "So it's only right I give you the preview of the mixtape. It was very imperative we did this mixtape for the streets. We gave the streets mixtape after mixtape with Writing's on the Wall, Burrrprint 2. And that album is coming September 28, The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted. " On September 9, Gucci Mane released another DJ Drama-assisted mixtape entitled Ferrari Music; a DJ Holiday-assisted mixtape entitled Buy My Album was releasedon September 23, 2010, five days before The Appeal was released.
On June 16, 2010 Gucci Mane and R&B singer Ciara went live on UStream to announce they would be featured on each other's new albums. Gucci Mane’s "Too Hood" (featuring Ciara) was rumored to be the first single from The Appeal, but it did not appear on the album.
The first single from the album, "Gucci Time", is produced by (and features) Swizz Beatz. The song premiered on Gucci Mane's MySpace page August 6, 2010, and was released as a single on August 30. It reached #23 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #12 on Billboard's Rap Songs chart. A promotional single from the album was "Remember When", featuring R&B singer Ray J. A music video was released on October 10, and a music video for "What's It Gonna Be" was released 21 days later.
In partnership with iTunes, several tracks from the new album were included in its pre-release program "Complete My Album" during the weeks leading up to the album's release date. The first offering of the program was "Making Love to the Money", which could be obtained September 7, 2010. The song peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot R&B-Hip-Hop Songs chart and on the Rap Songs chart at #21. "Trap Talk" was then made available on September 14, 2010; the final offering, "Weirdo", became available on September 21. A song entitled "Beat It Up", featuring Trey Songz (a deluxe-edition track which also appears on Gucci Mane's Burrrprint (2) HD mixtape), debuted on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at #36 and #22 on the Rap Songs chart.
The album sold 50,000 units in its first week, less than Gucci Mane's previous effort (which sold 89,000 copies in its first week of release). However, The Appeal had more chart success; it entered the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart at #4 (the previous album entered at #10). The Appeal entered at #4 in both the Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums and Rap charts. The album has sold 150,000 copies.
Upon its release, The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted received generally-positive reviews from most music critics. Giving it three stars (out of five), Rolling Stone's Jonah Weiner commented "This Atlanta mush mouth serves up hip-hop comfort food: rich synth beats; laid-back cadences; songs that find a gloriously low concept and stick to it ('Making Love to the Money,' about all the different ways Gucci tries to impregnate his Benjamins, is a goofy standout here). But The Appeal, his third official album, suggests that Gucci's menu could use an update. Besides the distortion-laced 'Gucci Time,' the biggest change-ups here are drab gangsta ballads: 'Haterade' features Pharrell at his most insufferably croon-y, and 'O'Dog' makes you actually wish guest singer Wyclef would stick to politics."
Allmusic critic David Jeffries stated, "The questionable consensus on mushed-mouth party rapper Gucci Mane is that his mixtapes beat his official albums by a mile, but The Appeal is another worthy, aboveground effort, holding more highlights than your everyday release while broadening the man’s horizons (something that certainly needed to happen). With ethereal production from the Neptunes and rapper Nicki Minaj delivering lines that are much more nimble than naughty ('I’m all that I can be/And I’ll admit, I’m appalled when you envy/Cause you can do it too/I just happen to be the girl that they threw it to'), 'Haterade' is like nothing in Gucci’s earlier catalog, and when the closing 'Grown Man' finds the usually sloth-like rapper rapidly explaining his family tree — and all the bad apples that fell from it — it’s downright shocking and solid. On the other hand, he’s lost none of his steadily stoned and constantly throwed appeal as he makes his somewhat slow guest Bun B sound like Twista on the opening 'Little Friend.' Better still is when he confuses women and cash on the entirely Gucci 'Making Love to the Money,' or gets ridiculous and between the beats on the decent roller 'Gucci Time' ('White boy wasted, frat boy wasted/ Amazin’ like my bracelet I'm flossin/R.I.P. the mic, the ice got my chest moon walkin’'). If there’s a problem, it’s that mass appeal isn’t even considered and there are no grand singles for the radio heads to savor. This one is for those who would still love The State vs. Radric Davis even if the breakthrough hits 'Lemonade' and 'Wasted' weren’t included."
Giving The Appeal three out of five stars, HipHopDX's William E. Ketchum III commented: "When he and his producers stay in their lanes, Mayor Gucci can serve his faithful constituents with the anthems that fuel their every day lives (or weekends). With last year's The State vs. Radric Davis proving that Gucci Mane could translate his street stardom into making a commercially viable release, the groundwork for the trilogy was set. Whereas Gucci was incarcerated during the 2009 release in one of Rap's more fitting album titles, this year, the Brick Squad 1017 leader is out and diversifying. Like his first installment, The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted is a big budget, guest-heavy release that distinguishes a Gucci Mane album from his endless supply of mixtapes. However, the Atlanta, Georgia mainstay still has yet to show the mainstream what the streets have been pointing out for the last five years.
"Gucci Mane plays to his strengths: deceptively simple production, catchy hooks, and playful flows and adlibs. Aside from the brawny basslines of 'Weirdo', southern heavyweights Drumma Boy and Zaytoven disappoint with formulaic beats that seem to rely on Gucci Mane's charisma instead of being able to contribute to the song. Fortunately, lesser-known producer collaborators—DJ B-Do and Joey French, and Schife and OhZee—outshine their reputable counterparts on the Bun B-featured 'Lil Friend' and 'Making Love To The Money' with trunk-rattling percussion and busty horns and organs. Even Swizz Beatz uses 'Gucci Time' to showcase a paced adrenaline shot that complements Gucci's simplicity without falling victim to it. As far as the rhymes go, Gucci's song concepts are trite at best: 'Making Love To the Money' and 'Brand New' are about exactly what their titles imply. But his fun, infectious hooks guarantee singalongs in clubs and whips nationwide; those leary of the repetitive subject matter may enjoy the songs in limited doses at parties or in 'shuffle' mode with the rest of their music library.
"But some may check The Appeal based on Gucci's comments during a press conference after leaving prison this past May, in which he claimed that the Rap game needed 'substance' and that he would provide it. Only one song does this, but it does so brilliantly. On “Grown Man” Gucci closes the album by matching Jim Jonsin's synthy winner and Estelle's triumphant hook with honest verses that lament fallen or imprisoned loved ones, admit wrong and pushes to move on. But other attempted change-ups fall short. 'ODog' shows promise with a layered, pensive Inkredibles backdrop and a defiant Wyclef Jean chorus that beams success despite prison setbacks and stereotypes, but Gucci's verses don't stray from the usual flossing and chick-snatching. And 'Remember When' the trite Ray J-assisted attempt at female seduction, is weighed down with lines like 'We go together like hamburgers and french fries'.
"The Appeal doesn't go too far left to make Gucci Mane's detractors change their minds, and it doesn't go too far right to make his fans love him any more than they already do. When he stays in his lane and makes his producers stay with him, Mayor Gucci can serve his faithful constituents with the anthems that fuel their every day lives (or at least weekends). But when he doesn't have all his cylinders running, the results are disappointing at best and catastrophic at worst. Either way, he begins and ends the disc as Georgia's Most Wanted: for the career electric chair by his detractors, and for hood mayor by his disciples."
iHipHop gave the album 3.0 of 5 mics, stating "It’s a daunting task to follow up a good album with another good album or something greater. Add to this task trying to please two different audiences and grow as an artist. Sometimes the results work together and gives birth to something incredible. Other times, its just another album. Unfortunately, this is just another album. Gucci Mane’s follow up to The State vs. Radric Davis just doesn’t have “The Appeal” of the first one. The total direction of the album is one that every Atlantic artist has traveled down - a road filled with cleaned-up southern artists that can make songs for the trap and for the radio. The formula has worked well for T.I., Plies, and Trey Songz even. But Gucci is in his best element on some gutter street music. It's the tale of two albums on this one - one with compromise and one without.
“The Appeal lacked in both street and radio buzz because there was no clear cut hit on here. There are some good songs on here that have potential to gain momentum over time, but that may never happen. 'Missing', 'What’s It Gonna Be' and 'Making Love To the Money' are all great songs that play to Gucci’s best attributes as an MC and they have hit potential. The problem is that the leaked songs were 'Gucci Time and 'Weirdo', which both seemed like recycled themes (i.e. T.I.’s 'Bring Em Out' = 'Gucci Time'). My theory about his street music label-forced collabos is proven true strictly through the producers. Drumma Boy and Zaytoven fit Gucci the best while offering from others come of as either a hit (like Pharrell’s 'Haterade') or miss (Swizz Beatz' 'It’s Alive').
"Overall, the album seems forced to fit into a category that might be able to sell everyone, but isn’t narrow enough to fit into a category that people will consider as good. The formula of making good music in your genre will give any artist more longevity was actually pioneered by Gucci. He showed artists that he could drop relevant music without an album, tour and make money and get big checks for features. It’s a shame that they’re pushing him away from what worked for him so well the past couple of years."
Eye Weekly writer Dave Morris gave the album a 4-out-of-5 rating: "Gucci Mane’s ill-timed prison stint had the same effect on the Atlanta rapper’s major label debut that turning the sprinklers on at a nightclub might have on a bachelorette party. Now, the mush-mouthed MC is back doing hoodrat stuff in the same ludicrous way as before. Bragging about money? 'Gucci Mane call Obama, wanna buy the dollar sign / feels like first day of school, my swag killed ’em like Columbine.' Weed? 'Roll a bag of cannabis / they got this shit from Canada.' Um… money again? 'Making love to the money, I swear the sex great / I kick them hoes out but let the money stay.' Really, Gucci kicking ridonkulous rhymes over beats from southern royalty Drumma Boy and Zaytoven is enough to make your weekend. But if it’s insight you’re looking for, consider the album’s opener, 'Little Friend.' Scarface is a played-out reference, but Gucci transforms the story, casting himself as the outsider-by-birth (a black man in America) whose rise and fall was preordained (US incarceration rates for black men are nearly six times what they are for whites); all that’s left is to have as much fun as possible before the cell clangs shut for good."
|1.||"Little Friend" (featuring Bun B)||R. Davis, B. Freeman, R. Jerkins, J. Stevens||Darkchild, Jabbar "Bah" Stevens (co.)||5:18|
|2.||"Trap Talk"||R. Davis, M. Humphrey, K. Roberson||Big Korey, DJ Montay (co.)||4:38|
|3.||"Missing"||R. Davis, X. Dotson||Zaytoven||4:46|
|4.||"What It's Gonna Be"||R. Davis, C. Gholson||Drumma Boy||4:23|
|5.||"Making Love to the Money"||R. Davis, I. Lewis, O. Zayas||Schife & OhZee||4:07|
|6.||"Gucci Time" (featuring Swizz Beatz)||R. Davis, K. Dean||Swizz Beatz, The Individualz (co.)||2:56|
|7.||"Party Animal"||R. Davis, L. Douglas||Fatboi||3:59|
|8.||"Remember When" (featuring Ray J)||R. Davis, W. Norwood||BWheezy||4:27|
|9.||"Haterade" (featuring Pharrell & Nicki Minaj)||R. Davis, P. Williams, O. Maraj||Pharrell Williams, Aramis Riley||4:46|
|10.||"It's Alive" (featuring Swizz Beatz)||R. Davis, K. Dean||Swizz Beatz, Rob Holladay, Sean Garrett (co.)||3:38|
|11.||"ODog" (featuring Wyclef Jean)||R. Davis, N. Jean||Wyclef Jean, Sedeck "All Hands On Deck" Jean (co.)||5:15|
|12.||"Dollar Sign"||R. Davis, J. Duplessis||Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis, Arden "Keyz" Altino (co.)||2:19|
|13.||"Brand New"||R. Davis, X. Dotson, J. Madison||Zaytoven||3:27|
|14.||"Weirdo"||R. Davis, C. Gholson||Drumma Boy||4:11|
|15.||"Grown Man" (featuring Estelle)||R. Davis, J. Duplessis, J. Scheffer, E. Swaray, W. Wilkins||Jim Jonsin, Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis (co.), Wayne Wilkins (add.)||3:36|
|iTunes bonus tracks|
|16.||"Beat It Up" (featuring Trey Songz)||R. Davis, T. Neverson, G. Christopher||Drumma Boy||4:32|
|17.||"Georgia's Most Wanted"||R. Davis, L. Douglas||Fatboi||3:41|
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