Gunna’s "Drip Or Drown 2" Review


When Gunna raps, “You gon’ want a surfboard when it come to me and Wheezy wave” on his new album, it isn’t an empty boast. The previous 12 months has seen the rap, R&B, and pop worlds latch onto his and his shut collaborators’ types, both by mimicking his now-iconic movement, shopping for into his “drip” slang and aesthetic, or granting him a visitor verse. The glo-up is now evident in most corners of Gunna’s life, however none extra so than his album artwork. Compare the Rocket Power-riffing cover of the primary Drip Or Drown, which got here out simply 15 months in the past, to that of the collection’ second installment, and it is clear that the imaginative and prescient’s elevated simply as a lot because the funds. As Earl Sweatshirt put it on Twitter final week, “This Gunna album cowl isn’t any joke 10/10 dedication to [water droplet emoji] respect bro.”

Jumping right into a pool sporting a bunch of high-priced garments and carrying an umbrella does certainly signify a transparent dedication to the drip, and all the pieces else about Drip Or Drown 2 is equally indebted to Gunna’s pre-existing inventive persona. The music connects to an aqueous, underwater vibe fairly actually, with whale songs on “Wit It,” a watery Rhodes and bubbly backwards loop on “Outstanding,” rumbling bass undertow on “Big Shot,” and rippling synth delay on “Same Yung N****.” In this manner, Drip Or Drown 2 is completely curated and geared in direction of Gunna’s strengths. His manufacturing workforce of Wheezy and Turbo (a minimum of one in every of whom is concerned in each single monitor on the album) proceed to show in recent, bizarre beats that completely go well with Gunna’s syrupy vocals. Better than any earlier Gunna undertaking, this album sounds like a Gunna album all through, with no sonic outliers to say. 

It could have taken over a 12 months for the hypnotic sound that Gunna, Wheezy, and Turbo dreamt as much as manifest as a full-length with out many concessions to different sounds, however Gunna’s had his movement tightened up into one thing distinctive since a minimum of the primary Drip Or Drown. That, extra so than Turbo’s guitars or Wheezy’s watery soundscapes, is what’s confirmed most influential up to now 12 months. It’s daring then, for somebody who modified the best way loads of rappers flowed in 2018, to kick off 2019 by bringing so few new flows to the desk. 

A 12 months and a half in the past, it won’t have mattered if Gunna spent 16 tracks largely utilizing the identical supply and cadence, because it sounded so new at one level that its freshness may’ve erased issues about stagnation. But after a 12 months spent listening to not simply Gunna, however Drake, Travis Scott, and others gratuitously utilizing the flows heard on Drip Or Drown 2, it is a tiring prospect. Gunna’s lyric aren’t devoid of vivid imagery and witty turns of phrase— “Carrots caught in my enamel after I speak,” “He so cap I purchased him an actual hat,” and many others.— however his verve has at all times come from his supply and swag reasonably than complicated rhyme schemes, metaphors, or eccentric lyricism. Hearing him and his mentor Young Thug commerce four-bar bursts is at all times an thrilling prospect, and certainly, “Three Headed Snake” lives as much as the excessive bar set by “Floyd Mayweather” and “Unicorn Purp,” however particularly contemplating the music’s place on Drip Or Drown 2, it solely emphasizes that Gunna’s latched onto one (and just one) of Thug’s types and run with it.

Gunna’s at his greatest when he is getting mystically in-sync with another person, whether or not meaning discovering pockets and harmonies inside a Turbo or Wheezy beat, or taking part in the softer-spoken foil to Thugger or Lil Baby. On the album’s greatest monitor, “Derek Fisher,” he will get an opportunity to do each. Turbo’s beat is a queasy masterpiece, sufficient to offer most rappers sea legs, however Gunna rides the unorthodox synth swells with an array of perfectly-fitting melodies. Lil Baby then exhibits up, first mimicking Gunna’s movement, then increasing upon it, one thing that occurs all too sometimes elsewhere on Drip Or Drown 2. It’s usually onerous to inform if Gunna’s sparse, undercooked vocals are an intentional a part of the package deal, as is clearly the case along with his uneven movement on “Speed It Up,” or if he’s simply coasting. While the album’s manufacturing’s sturdy sufficient to permit a lesser rapper fall into the background and switch in some palatable temper music, we count on extra from Gunna at this level. 

The man behind the songs “Drippin’,” and “Drip Too Hard,” in addition to tasks titled Drip Season, Drip Harder, and Drip Or Drown has now discovered each doable technique to say that he’s, certainly, dripping (“Drip on daily basis like a runny nostril” is the newest). In doing so, he is squeezed the life out of the phrase. Similarly, Gunna’s now discovered each doable use for the movement he created, and nobody will ever dispute his declare to stated movement. In this manner, Drip Or Drown 2 remembers the stretch in Migos‘ profession (roughly from Yung Rich Nation to Y.R.N. 2) that principally consisted of them claiming time and again to be innovators of the triplet movement and the dab. Everyone is aware of Gunna created one thing distinctive and influential, and though we are able to forgive him for resting on his laurels for a lot of the previous six months, he will should step up and evolve if he needs his rep to maintain up. Migos definitely did it, and I’ve little question that somebody as effortlessly artistic as Gunna can too.