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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gucci Mane: The Return of Mr. Zone 6

Gucci Mane has always seemed to have charisma and hot beats to spare, but his last record, The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted, didn’t possess either. His latest, The Return of Mr. Zone 6, is somewhere between a studio work and a mixtape; it’s available for sale and Gucci calls it a “hood album.” Unfortunately, it also fails to deliver the silliness or focus of the 2009-era Gucci who briefly took over hip-hop. It’s not all bad. Drumma Boy does the majority of the production, and many of the beats, like “My Year,” are particularly nice. But many others are slow, requiring Gucci to rap in a middling, monotone manner that drags. In a sign of how things have changed, the album perks up every time Gucci’s protégé Waka Flocka Flame appears, particularly on “This Is What I Do,” the album’s strongest track. Waka does what he does best — bellow. Gucci, however, doesn’t seem to know his own strengths these days. (1017 Brick Squad/Warner Bros.) 3 stars out of 5

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