The Art of Diligence + Drip // How Gunna's Drip Season series can establish his stardom
Written by Waylon O'Day
The mainstream world was first introduced to Young Thug’s protégé, Gunna, on the former’s “Floyd Mayweather,” from the JEFFERY project. Gunna’s third iteration of his Drip mixtape series looks good on paper. Including production credits from names like Metro Boomin’ and Wheezy, and contributions from Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Durk, Lil Yatchy, and of course, Young Thug, it’s hard to debate the star-power of the project. However, the centerpiece of the project, Gunna himself, is often the most underwhelming element.
The Metro-produced “Helluva Price” is one of the more solid tracks on this entire project, Gunna delivers a dizzying, never-ending verse while surfing over a sublime Boomin’ beat (“This came from Metro, this shit ain’t from Zay”) like a guy named Cody from Maui. “Drippin’” follows and although it’s a satisfactory track, the lyrical density is lacking, as Gunna sort of just raps in circles for two verses and a lackluster chorus.
“At the Hotel,” featuring Lil Uzi and Young Jordan cleans the palate from the previous track as the former and Gunna deliver two spectacular verses as they bounce on the Turbo-produced track. The Richie Souf-produced “Top Off” does a fantastic job at establishing a nostalgic environment from Gunna to reflect on his past thanks to an Isley Brothers-esque synth line that melts like butter on the track. The student and the masterwork together on the underwhelming “King Kong,” as the pair fail to live up the mythical proportions of the track’s titular inspirations, due in large part to Young Thug giving a soft-B-grade verse, which matches Gunna’s subpar energy level.
Gunna does raise the bar a tad with “Pedestrian,” in terms of energy, however, the follow-through is lacking as he fails to do the Metro/Wheezy/Doughboy-produced beat justice. “Mistress” is just cringey to say the least. Delivering lines like “Squirt a lot of water out her kitty,” Gunna fails to capture his mentor’s succinct delivery of X-rated lyricism, which is surprising considering Thug’s love of explicit imagery. The London On Da Track/Metro-produced “My Soul” is solid track, thanks to spectacular production and a subdued approach from Gunna as he acquiesces to the beats lethargic nature. Metro delivers another solid track with “No Joke,” as Gunna bounces with the beat from side to side, inflecting his voice at just the right moments.
Thug re-emerges for “Oh Okay,” and is joined by Lil Baby, leading to a solid feature track, I must admit the line “I got some rickety rackades/ Running through bitches like Backpage,” is one of my new favorite Thugger lines. “Spending Addiction” is exactly what it sounds like, a boastful track that seems to have Gunna reflecting on what he’s already achieved (albeit a lot) instead of what he can do. The remix of “Drip or Down” closes out the project, featuring possibly the best Lil Boat verse ever, as Yatchy outshines Gunna with ease, however, Gunna does hold his weight, and closes out the tape with a bang.
Gunna has had plenty of time to come into his own, more than enough time if you consider the shelf life of rappers nowadays. It appears he is content with resting on his laurels and cementing his legacy as Thugger-lite. Although he does show glimpses of brilliance, he still seems to be in the same head-space as his mentor, but not lyrically, where it matters most. All the blame cannot be placed on Gunna solely, apart from a couple of features, all those brought in to ears to the tape seemed to just mail it in, which is just unfortunate considering the number of features on the project.
Listen to the project below.