ALBUM RATING: 34
Notorious for his uninspired contributions to what is already considered a stagnant, jaded genre, it would be a dishonourable blatant lie to say I felt even the slightest bit of excitement heading into DS4EVER. And with a discography resembling the personality of a dimly-lit graveyard, can I really be blamed?
With that being said, I must give Gunna credit for the opening half of this record, which does contain some genuine highlights. The plucky strings on the Metro Boomin’ produced ‘alotta cake’ provides some much needed character to the album, seemingly inspiring Gunna to conjure up a rare memorable chorus in the process. Wheezy’s contribution to ‘pushin P’ is another stand-out, with the subtle instrumental transitions making up for the absurd lyrics and monotonous deliveries.
Sadly, anything remotely enjoyable about DS4EVER becomes sucked out of you before the serotonin’s even had a chance to settle. Such is the case on ‘how you did that’, where the intro, which gears up for an emotive piece of piano trap, becomes swiftly interrupted by a flute melody so horrendously mixed, it resembles a second hand recorder prized from a school’s ‘lost and found’. A similar thing can be said about ‘thought i was playing’, where Gunna seemingly tries his hardest to eliminate any momentum achieved by 21 Savage’s gritty delivery and intricate flows, by repeating his insipid hook.
Those past few critiques aside, there isn’t necessarily much wrong with the first half of the album, and I do find myself in tune with the vibe. As ever, the problem lies with the lack of passion, spark and energy – issues reinforced by his Freddie Gibbs “diss”, which was as insulting as the iconic “I don’t care that you broke your elbow”. This absent desire to be appealing ultimately results in a dreary second half which seems to pass by with no real substance.
With any highlight now a distant memory, DS4EVER concludes in painful fashion. As insufferable as Gunna’s flat vocal melodies are on ‘die alone’, the worst is saved for Chris Brown’s obnoxious whaling feature, which I thought (and hoped) had been left behind in the 2010s.’so far ahead > empire’ proved there was still time for the album to deteriorate further, with the absent percussion on the latter half demonstrating how dependent Gunna’s music is on ATL trap beats, which do a good job of masking his limited skillset.
Favourite Tracks: thought i was playing (feat. 21 Savage), alotta cake
Worst Tracks: you & me, die alone, so far ahead > empire