The first high profile collaboration between a mainstream rapper and a member of the New Guard, Gucci Mane and V-Nasty’s BAYTL album bears the scars that one would expect from such a crude early graft. Large centipede gashes are practically visible when Gucci’s satin is forcibly stitched to Nasty’s rough denim. While Gucci was a fine choice to make this leap–can you think of any other rapper not associated specifically with the scene who embraces oddity and his own sound more than La Flare?–choosing White Girl Mob’s little spitfire over the more celebrated Kreayshawn was like picking Flavor Flav instead of Chuck D.
Whereas Kreayshawn is all style and curiosity piquing strangeness, a saccharine harpy dripping charm and sex appeal, V-Nasty is abrasive and loud. Her straight forward delivery never changes; a high pitched, hard-charging kitten with an AK who is far more earnest in her gang appeal and desire to act hard, and far less so for it. Her choppy lines seem especially so compared to the always effortless Gucci, a dichotomy that threatens to break BAYTL rather than providing interest. A suicidal need to stuff one word too many into a bar frequently brings whatever momentum she can muster to a screeching halt. Nasty is a little off beat–sometimes literally–but provides a fine hook; unfortunately for her, Gucci Mane is already the undisputed King in that category.
This matching up of strength on strength, paired with Gucci’s eternally desirable ability to flow like promethazine codeine, leaves BAYTL feeling like a Gucci Mane album at best, broken at worst and an attention grab most all the time. Not to say that it is not a somewhat endearing grab.
For his part, Mane is as smooth as ever, a slithering rasp that alternates from bouncing playfully on a track to oozing between the beats. Always more lyrically inclined than he seems, Gucci’s strange word play and intriguingly picked rhymes (“Canada” with “tarantula”) remain his trademark. The BAYTL album plays to it’s bigger names strengths, with production heavy on scattered snapping snares and hollow bass supported by slightly menacing synth lines for a trap-lite feel. A slight dip into the Bay’s hyphy sound adds some flavor, particularly on “Loaded” and “Sick Swag.”
The album smartly introduces Nasty on a hook, allowing her to give the listener a first taste as soon as “Whip Appeal” opens. The album hits its stride with “Let’s Get Faded.” Gucci’s disjointed rap seems shaken into pieces by the cut’s deep wet thump and molasses melodies, while Nasty lays down her best verse of the album.
“Push Ups” glossy, lustrous feel combines with an infectious chorus and a syrupy showing from Slim Dunkin to make a stand out track. Tha Bizness’ exotic bang carries “Out My Circle.” An ode to all things purple, this well paced short song seems most poised for radio play and shows us a glimpse into what the BAYTL album could have been. “Millions Every Month,” is the climax, a monstrously smooth cut with a luxuriously heavy sound, like stomping holes in the street while wearing Fendi pumps.
Make no mistake about it, this is Gucci’s album, and V-Nasty is along for the ride. While some will be inequitably turned off by her presence, La Flare’s fine efforts keep BAYTL above water. Neither rapper has much of anything intelligent to say, but one would be hard pressed to hear anyone say less more entertainingly than the indomitable Mane.
Prime Cuts: “Let’s Get Faded”, “Push Ups”, “Out My Circle”, “Millions Every Month”
BAYTL receives a PAR
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