Riffs & Rhymes commemorates the 100th project and 14th studio album of iconic East Atlanta artist, Gucci Mane. It is hard to ignore the influence Gucci has had over the last decade of rap, and since we first heard “Lemonade” on the radio in 2009, he has shown no signs of slowing down. The sheer volume of Gucci Mane music already existing in the world can make us numb when he announces a new album; sifting through a sea of tracks to find the gems on new projects is a common ritual when considering the size of his discography and the frequency with which he drops.
His newest release, Delusions of Grandeur, is an 18-track LP that delivers classic, hard-hitting Gucci records, full of thumping 808s and top-notch Gucci rhyme schemes and flow, complete with pop-infused melodies and beats that will make you want to run through a brick wall.
Coming off 2018’s Evil Genius, Guwop works with familiar producers like Da Honorable C N.O.T.E, Southside, Murda Beatz and Zaytoven, but also teams up with a slew of increasingly popular names, including Kenny Beats, Turbo, Tay Keith and MARIIBEATZ. Gucci has been known for collaborating with the game’s most high profile producers and has been credited with personally discovering super-producer Metro Boomin. Some favorite cuts off the project include Gucci’s collaborations with elite beatmaker, Kenny Beats, who produced “Proud Of You,” and “Us,” and made a solid case for the producer of the year title in 2018.
The project’s lead single, “Love Thru The Computer,” which samples a classic Zapp & Roger track, caught 1017 faithfuls by surprise as Guwop called Justin Bieber for the feature. It’s a fun, up-tempo track that was followed up by two singles, “Backwards,” which features Meek Mill, and “Proud Of You,” both of which will blow the subwoofers out of your stock sedan stereo system. The ebb and flow of the project gives the listener everything from new additions to both your workout and summer party playlist, to tracks that will fit right into your soundtrack for Saturday morning house-cleaning. Although it isn’t a cohesive work like we would expect from a Kendrick Lamar or Tyler, The Creator, this project has its place among the titles released thus far in 2019.
Gucci is known for his rapid fire approach when it comes to releasing music, like when he dropped three mixtapes in a span of one night while behind bars in 2015, respectively titled Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. To some extent, we know what to expect when Guwop announces a release. There’s sure to be some tracks that you’ll skip, but to ignore his influence on the game and evolution as an artist and a human being would be a disservice. He has truly transformed himself, physically and mentally. The once lean-sipping, word-slurring (check out his World War 3 mixtape series), overweight Gucci is now on a different level, producing commercial hits while still maintaining his East Atlanta sound with brooding tracks like “Potential,” which features Lil Uzi Vert and Young Dolph.
Top to bottom, Delusions of Grandeur delivers everything we love about Gucci, setting the tone from the start with one of the hardest cuts on the entire album, “Bussdown.” At 18 tracks, the album has its fair share of slow stretches, yet delivers everything you need to satisfy your craving for an East Atlanta sound. Do yourself a favor and pay homage to Guwop, listen to Delusions of Grandeur with no expectations and enjoy the elite production, and Gucci in what seems to still be his prime.