Atlanta native and YSL signee Gunna is back with his sophomore album “WUNNA.” It’s been his first full-length project since his debut record “Drip or Drown,” a project that did not leave me fully invested and didn’t live up to the hype that his previous mixtape series “Drip Season” had vigorously built. I knew Gunna’s potential was immense after hearing him as a featured guest on tracks such as “YOSEMITE” by Travis Scott. His ability to ride a beat and create this psychedelic, comatosed sound has elevated him to the forefront of the new wave and upper echelon of the music industry. With singles such as “Skybox” and title track “Wunna” hitting the airwaves with such force and infectious sounds I was anticipating what the Atlanta MC had in store. While I did enjoy the two singles he released I still went into this project with an open mind and no expectations.
Before hitting play I was already enjoying the artistry behind the album cover — a claymation of Gunna displayed as the vitruvian man which I found to be a great touch to the record. Going into this it was clear to see that Gunna was entering new territory with new flows and ambitious production from a myriad of can’t-miss producers, from long time collaborator Turbo The Great, Wheezy and Tay Keith. The “Drip or Drown” rapper claimed in an interview on Beats 1 Radio with Ebro Darden that WUNNA, which stands for “Wealthy Unapologetic N-word Naturally Authentic,” is also an introduction to an alternate identity. Thankfully for Gunna fans, however, the MC we get this go around is nothing short of the man who taught us the meaning of drip. Across beats from his veritable list of producers Gunna raps in effortless non sequitur about jewelry, clothing, drugs and women. The way he skates on a beat shows his versatility and sets him apart from his contemporaries.
In this 18 track LP rounding off at 50 minutes, Gunna does so much with very little and doesn’t overstay his welcome. I was impressed with how many cuts of this project I thoroughly enjoyed. Gunna really surprised me with his plan of attack on this record. Tracks like “MOTW” with boomin production from Wheezy have Gunna talking slickly about his mass streams of income. Braggadocious talks about his lavish lifestyle and “drip” while maintaining a tone of reminiscence about his past endeavors create a standout moment on the record.
I was really impressed by the guest performances on this project, the chemistry between Gunna and his collaborators is second to none. I especially like the song “Top Floor” featuring Travis Scott. The production was great; in particular, the grand trumpets in the back of the sample off the Young Thug track “Hot” make for a triumphant hit record. The two attacked the song with great energy coming from both MCs. Gunna’s flow on this was smoother than a whale’s back while La Flame delivers a smash hook along with an amazing verse reflecting on his status as a cultural phenomenon. The song “COOLER THAN A B— —” featuring Roddy Rich is an absolute hit that both rappers brought their A-game to. I love this collaboration due to the fact that both artists utilize melodies and do a hybrid singing rapping thing that really works well for them. I really enjoyed the chemistry between them; they both attack their songs with such similarity it is apparent that they are both different in their own right but work extremely well together.
I really enjoyed the structure of this LP as well; the way he starts the album by taking us to some of the places he’s been to on the intro track “ARGENTINA” as well as introducing us to his alter ego Wunna on the title cut “Wunna.” This full-length feels like we’re getting a more mature Gunna who has not only transformed the ever evolving Atlanta trap sound but has returned sounding ambitious and as hungry as when he first started. As aforementioned the production on this is extremely satisfying; I particularly like a lot of the cuts produced by Wheezy. It’s always nice to hear that “Wheezy out here” producer tag and know the song is in good hands. Gunna’s last album didn’t reel me in as a fan, but his features were always solid and his project before last, “Drip Season 3,” had some tracks that I felt set him apart from the rest. This full-length album, however, reeled me in hook, line and sinker. Overall I really feel we got the best from Gunna this go around; he really stepped his game up with new flows, strong word play and ambitious production.
Verdict: This record has something even the common trap music fan will enjoy. While I may not be the biggest Gunna fan he definitely made a fan of me with this project. I see a lot of growth in this record from Gunna as he truly delivered on his sophomore album “WUNNA.”