Hip-Hop

The Reign of Guwop: Gucci Mane's 8 Best Songs of 2017 (So Far)

Meredith Jenks

Gucci Mane photographed on Nov. 8 at Diamond Horseshoe in New York. 

It’s been a little over a year since Gucci Mane emerged from an Indiana federal prison, a slimmer, more sober version of the Trap God we’ve all grown to know and love. Since trading in prison garb for designer duds, the Atlanta rapper hasn’t hesitated to bless fans with a surplus of music as he attempts to reclaim his career that was left in limbo.

Notorious for his ambitious work ethic, Gucci recorded his first post-prison studio effort six days after his release. The same day that Everybody Looking debuted, La Flare took to the stage for a homecoming concert at the renowned Fox Theatre. Over the course of the next year, the victory lap continued, with Gucci releasing five solo projects, as well as a bevy of collaborations (Droptopwop, GucTiggy EP, Woptober, Free Bricks 2: Zone 6 Edition, 1017 vs. The World and The Return of East Atlanta Santa), locking in a book deal, and even performing for the first time at Coachella.

Considering the overwhelming odds stacked against him, coupled with his success, it’s hard not to deem Guwop worthy of anything less than the title of a hall of famer. True to his nature and unrelenting pen game, Gucci could easily feed us his quicksilver synths and melodic hooks for the next 10 years. Before Gucci takes center stage at Billboard's Hot 100 Fest on Saturday, Aug. 19, get familiar with his eight best songs of 2017, so far.  

“Met Gala,” feat. Offset

One of the most climactic moments of Gucci’s redemptive year was the release of Droptopwop, with “Met Gala” being its true highlight. Over Metro Boomin’s potent drums and bell chimes, two of Georgia’s finest and flyest exchange bars, which makes for a very fashion-forward record. Offset delivers a verse that will likely go down as one of the best of 2017, and a quick-spitting Gucci returns to serve with aplomb: "I could care less 'bout the bloggers, boy/ 80K stuffed in my joggers, boy."

“Make Love,” feat. Nicki Minaj

Back in February, La Flare promised fans that he would debut the “hardest song of the year,” and he delivered with the Nicki Minaj-assisted track “Make Love.” Reuniting for the first time since 2010, the hypnotic track features a celebratory Gucci as he declares his newfound financial freedom in making “2 mill a day.” The rapper also didn’t hesitate to gush about his pending nuptials to longtime girlfriend Keyshia Ka’oir and give a shout-out to Beyoncé, whom he hopes to book for his lofty wedding.

“Hurt Feelings”

Just hours after revealing the release date as well as artwork for his 11th studio album, Gucci shared the first track from the Metro Boomin-produced collection. Boasting an ominous synth paired with brilliantly arranged drums, “Hurt Feelings” has all the makings of Metro's signature sound. Guwop’s flow is as equally impressive as he raps punchlines pungent with swagger and delivers a melodic chorus, which was clearly an indication of Droptopwop's brilliance.

“Sir Brix A Lot”

The homecoming party seemingly never ended for Gucci Mane. Shortly after announcing the title of his first album of 2017, the Trap God blessed fans with a surprise EP titled 3 for 3 in January. The Shawty Redd-produced effort was met with brash bars from Gucci as he rapped about his deep pockets and expensive taste. “Sir Brix A Lot” was a gem among the three-track set with one-liners like “F--- a cell case, marble on my staircase” and Gucci’s lack of remorse for putting the fakes on notice.

“Bucket List”

The 1017 boss surely knows a thing or two about living life to the fullest, as he’s gone on to scratch a few things off his bucket list in the past year. The Metro Boomin-produced track finds Gucci proudly boasting about his newfound experiences, and he's shining like one of his many handcrafted jewels in the accompanying visual.

“Coachella”

Inspired by his first-ever appearance at Coachella, Guwop gifted fans with the Murda Beatz production just days after his star-studded performance at the acclaimed music festival. The fittingly titled track finds Gucci celebrating the career milestone with lines like, “Cold weather, just performed at Coachella/ It's a cold summer so I'mma paint the Lamb yellow/ Watch sweater, Patek it's an eye-catcher.” The crowd, which is sampled at the end of the song, was treated to guests including Diddy, Lil Yachty and Rae Sremmurd during Gucci’s set.

“Helpless”

With the release of Droptopwop, the hip-hop world and fans alike were introduced to Gucci Mane’s multifaceted personas. On “Helpless,” the rapper tapped into one of his many strengths: tightly crafted love songs. Vividly detailing a woman with a strangle-like hold over him, Gucci laments, "The way she put that p---y on me, I feel helpless/ And I want that p---y to myself, I'm selfish/ Say she want a n---a like me that's wealthy/ Try to stay away from her but I can't help it."

“Tone It Down,” feat. Chris Brown

Under the production of of Hitmaka, Guwop continues to flex with his collaborative streak. Blending his rapid-fire rhymes with Chris Brown’s signature bravado, Gucci’s latest offering is breathing new life to the phrase “tone it down.”

Billboard Hot 100 Fest 2017