A homecoming celebration for Gucci Mane, Everybody Looking is a smooth album that fans of the genre will get a lot of enjoyment out of.
For the record, I’m definitely not the best person to be reviewing a new Gucci Mane album given that I’ve not been big on his music in the past and I’m a middle-class white boy, but whatever. As a hip-hop fan it’s been impossible to ignore the hype surrounding Gucci’s release from jail following a firearm possession charge and the resulting new project, and when ‘First Day Out Tha Feds’ dropped I was pleasantly surprised. Can Everybody Looking, an album made in just 6 days, be a fitting return home for Gucci?
Yes, it really is. Everybody Looking goes hard from front to back – every beat bangs and every hook is catchy. The album isn’t particularly varied and Gucci isn’t going to win any awards for its lyricism, but it doesn’t matter with an album that flows as well as this. Whilst there are no game-changing songs here, there’s also nothing that stands out as being particularly weak. The entire project has a slick, head-bopping vibe, and its cohesiveness is no doubt a result of the majority of production being handled by Zaytoven and Mike WiLL Made-It. Their beats, combined with Gucci’s flow, gives the whole thing a really enjoyable sound and one which is easy to have on repeat.
The album is very much about Gucci himself and his reaction upon returning to the rap game, laughing off rumours that his label is preparing to drop him on ‘Pop Music’ and mocking rappers getting outdone by a man who’s been in jail for three years on ‘Out Do Ya.’ Standout songs include the aforementioned two and ‘At Least A M,’ but a convincing case could honestly be made for any of them. The album’s light on features, too, further affirming that this is Gucci’s project through and through. Young Thug adds his typically crazy vocals and a fun verse to the infectious single ‘Guwop Home,’ but Drake is kept to a simple hook on ‘Back On Road’ and Kanye West drops the latest in a string of weak guest verses on ‘Pussy Print.’ No harm is done, though, as it remains one of the album’s catchiest songs.
“Scared of me, you better be / Tell me who ain’t heard of me,” raps Gucci in outro track ‘Pick Up The Pieces’ with a point that is stressed throughout the rest of the album: Everybody Looking feels like a clear statement to watch out as Gucci’s here and free to reaffirm himself as the trap god. It may have been five years since his last studio album, but Everybody Looking to see what he’ll do next.
Everybody Looking is out now via Atlantic Records