WUNNA // Gunna

Reviewed: 25/05/2020

Rating: 4.5 // 10

Genres: Trap-Rap, Pop-Rap

Released: 22/05/2020

Gunna might have improved on his debut effort from last year, but his sound and style struggles to impress and stand out amongst his peers.

After spending the first four years of his career as a serial mixtape releaser, Gunna has produced the follow up to his first full length album, Drip or Drown 2.

Whilst he has marginally improved upon his first offering, most of WUNNA is a chore to listen to with very few high moments.

The opener ARGENTINA features a repetitive guitar twang and chimes that at first offer something different, but are quickly obscured by an obnoxiously loud beat and lazy flow.

In fact the opening leg of the album is a regurgitation of a sound that Gunna has stuck to for four years, with the brief adjustment here and there. The feature of GIMMICK is the bell sounds that bring the song in and out, and whilst the transition into MOTW is slick and applaudable, the songs are entirely forgettable.

Lyrically nothing stands out on either track, and beyond the small individual flairs, there isn’t much to write home about. On FEIGNING it is the strings at the beginning that breaks up the monotony of a striking similar hi-kick pattern.

Whilst the best of the first songs on the album, it is largely bland and only interesting (briefly) due to the instruments used.

DOLLARS ON MY HEAD sees Young Thug jump in for the first time on this album (he’ll be back at the end.)

The pitched up vocals at the start and around the bridge finally offer us some variety, and the beat is completely different to everything else so far. Overall, whilst not blowing me away, it is one of the better cuts on here.

In contrast, the following track features another artist – but returns to the bland, safe trap beat and vibe of the opening tracks. ADDYS features Nechie, who offers a tad more energy than Gunna’s lazy delivery.

SKYBOX begins with a spacey and nice synth lead, which is completely dropped once the beat drops and Gunna starts spitting. Returning, of course, is a low energy trap beat that meanders through its three minute run time.

The titular track WUNNA is in a similar vein – starts off with an interesting, drone-esque instrumental, before chucking a heavy reverb beat over it, and the same old Gunna flow.

Lil Baby features on BLINDFOLD, but doesn’t add much to another slow paced trap track.

ROCKSTAR BIKERS & CHAINS goes for a darker, grittier vibe, which works to its benefit. More drill than stick trap, the glitchy synths and rock guitars in the background finally produce the first interesting song.

MET GALA features a more R&B version of the classic trap beat, and Gunna sort of changes his flow up, but not by a super noticeable amount. Slows but not awful, the R&B guitars become a bit styled out near the end.

NASTY GIRL / ON CAMERA features one of the best moments of the project – the switch up half way through between songs. NASTY GIRL is yet another trap track, slightly stripped back and not overproduced.

The droning synths over ON CAMERA throughout are joined by voice manipulation, finally offering us something different.

Our next feature is in the form of Roddy Rich, who joins Gunna on another guitar based instrumental for COOLER THAN A BITCH. Forgettable in truths, again the instrumental is looped into the ground.

The faded intro and similarly manipulated voice on I’M ON SOME is a nice change, with all the components coming together well for a slow trap-rap track.

Arguably the king of trap-rap, Travis Scott dominates on TOP FLOOR. Autotune heavy, the trumpet loop again is overused and becomes stale quickly.

DON’T PLAY AROUND comes in with an interesting instrumental, with multiple synths, and for once, the lyrics seem focused on the theme. Pleasant enough, becomes quite repetitive quite quickly.

DO BETTER copies the theme of take an interesting instrumental (blues guitar) and loop it until it sounds awful. Gunna’s delivery is a bit more pointed and varied, and it is one of the better takes, but it is so formulaic at this point.

As mentioned prior, Young Thug returns to see this album over the line on FAR. This time its a bassline violated by overuse, with no standout performers. An average song for an average album.

Trap rap was one of the reasons hip-hop became the dominant genre in 2018, but the oversaturated market is making everything sound the same with the same features. With no major innovation from Gunna, he risks becoming irrelevant sooner rather than later.

Track Listing

  • ARGENTINA (C-)
  • GIMMICK (C-)
  • MOTW (D)
  • FEIGNING (C)
  • DOLLARS ON MY HEAD (C+)
  • ADDYS (D)
  • SKYBOX (C-)
  • WUNNA (D)
  • ROCKSTAR BIKERS & CHAINS (B-)
  • MET GALA (C-)
  • NASTY GIRL / ON CAMERA (C)
  • COOLER THAN A BITCH (D+)
  • I’M ON SOME (C-)
  • TOP FLOOR (D+)
  • DON’T PLAY AROUND (D)
  • DO BETTER (C-)
  • FAR (D)

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