Deep Album Cuts Vol. 64: Gucci Mane

Yesterday, Gucci Mane fans everywhere celebrated the unexpected news that he had been released from prison, about 4 months before anyone expected. It wasn't Gucci's first homecoming, and one of those periodic returns to freedom, in 2009, presaged one of the most productive and prolific runs in hip hop history. Many MCs had become legends thanks in part to a tireless work ethic, and for a long time it seemed like 2Pac's vault was bottomless. But while Lil Wayne set a new pace for southern rap with a flood of mixtapes that were often full of freestyles over industry beats, Gucci Mane kept up while making street albums almost exclusively with original beats from his busy stable of producers, writing hooks and multiple verses for hundreds of songs. He recorded so much music that the constant trickle of music even during his last couple years in prison only recently slowed down, and we're probably about to get a lot more.

Traditionally, I've reserved this series for artists who released the bulk of their material on proper albums, and have avoided a lot of contemporary rappers whose mixtapes aren't available on services like Spotify to easily make playlists. However, one of the things that has happened in the last couple years is that most of Gucci Mane's voluminous back catalog, including mixtapes that had previously never been sold through traditional retailers, went up on Spotify and other services. So I was able to make a playlist cherrypicking 21 tracks from 21 of his best or most high profile albums and mixtapes.

Gucci Mane Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist): 

1. First Day Out
2. Classical - Intro
3. Kill The Parking Lot
4. My Chain (featuring Black Magic)
5. On Deck
6. Follow Me (featuring Drumma Boy)
7. I Know Why (featuring Pimp C and Rich Boy)
8. Chasen Paper (featuring Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug)
9. Poltergeist (featuring Talib Kweli)
10. Servin'
11. Brand New
12. Chicken Talk
13. My Kitchen
14. Socialite
15. Shining For No Apparent Reason (featuring Waka Flocka Flame, Schife and Wooh Da Kid)
16. Lawnmower Man
17. Walkin' Lick
18. Scarface (featuring Scarface)
19. Laughin'
20. MVP (featuring Jagged Edge)
21. My Shadow

Track 16 from Trap House (2005)
Track 12 from Chicken Talk (2006)
Track 4 from Hard To Kill (2006)
Track 13 from No Pad, No Pencil (2007)
Track 7 from Back To The Trap House (2007)
Track 19 from Gucci Sosa (2008)
Track 5 from From Zone 6 To Duval (2008)
Track 3 from The Movie (2008)
Track 1 from Writing On The Wall (2009)
Track 21 from The Burrprint (The Movie 3D) (2009)
Track 6 from The Cold War: Part 1 (Guccimerica) (2009)
Track 2 from The State vs. Radric Davis (2009)
Track 15 from Burrrprint (2) HD (2010)
Track 14 from Mr. Zone 6 (2010)
Track 9 from Jewelry Selection (2010)
Track 11 from The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted (2010)
Track 20 from Writings On The Wall II (2011)
Track 17 from Trap Back (2012)
Track 18 from I'm Up (2012)
Track 10 from Trap God (2012)
Track 8 from Trap House III (2013)

Gucci Mane is an artist who can really blur the line between 'hits' and 'deep cuts.' Although he has a good dozen or so songs that were pushed by major labels as singles and charted on Billboard, there's a tier of many many other Gucci songs that countless club and radio DJs have kept in rotation for years. I mostly avoided those here, although I did include some pretty well known songs like "First Day Out" and "On Deck," probably my favorite Gucci song, which gets a lot of love in Baltimore but rarely seems to get enough acknowledgment on lists of his best work.

A lot of these songs that just stuck out to me when the tapes were new, although I have friends who've studied Gucci's catalog a lot more closely and I always check for what they recommend as standouts. I mean, it's insane that I can sample 20 mixtapes here and I'm still just skimming the surface and leaving out the huge amount of mixtapes that have been assembled and released while Gucci Mane's been away. I always enjoy the outliers -- "MVP" is by far my favorite R&B track from a rapper who's always had inconsistent success with them, and I really genuinely like the infamous "Poltergeist" and think both Gucci and Kweli sound great on it. And though Gucci's had great rapport with a huge number of producers, there are just so many Zaytoven tracks from every era of his career, so this is a pretty Zay-heavy mix.

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
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