2018’s breakout star is back with another project.
Off the heels of an incredible 2018, the biggest question for Atlanta MC Gunna is ‘what’s next?’ If Drip or Drown 2 is any indication of what is to come in 2019, the answer is more of the same.
While it may come as a letdown after an incredible 2018 run, Drip or Drown 2 is a project that provides many hits and doesn’t show any signs of Gunna abandoning what propelled him to the top last year.
The album is jam-packed with trap instrumentals from Atlanta’s finest producers. Wheezy and Turbo exclusively produced the entire album, and it’s safe to say that they don’t disappoint.
The project starts out on the right foot, providing its best song from the start in Wit It. Gunna uses his silky-smooth flow over a bouncy trap-flavored instrumental provided by Wheezy to create momentum from the get-go. From there, the repetitive nature of Gunna takes hold. While there aren’t any bad tracks, there are certainly some that are uninteresting and work better as background music. None of the tracks are bad, but some feel like a re-tread of previous Gunna songs.
The album’s hits are provided when Gunna changes up the tempo and the Turbo/Wheezy combo gets creative with the instrumentals. Richard Millie Plain is an early standout, with Turbo providing a guitar-based instrumental that Gunna excels on. The more experimental the instrumentals get, the more comfortable Gunna sounds.
Yao Ming and IDK Why come next, and are as uneventful as this years’ Super Bowl. Derek Fisher with frequent collaborator Lil Baby has a great title, but that is about it – the track definitely lands in the bottom five of Gunna/Baby collaborations.
After a bit of filler tracks comes Speed It Up. The track has one of the smoothest trap beats of all time, and it carries Gunna through the track. The hook, combined with keys that’re dripping with trap house Atlanta flavor, is one of the best of the year – but the verses on the track are disappointing. It would’ve been nice to hear Gunna abandon his spotty flow for something more concrete over an instrumental that is begging to be destroyed by any artist.
The album’s length begins to creep in around track eleven, and continues until Gunna redeems himself with the three tracks on the back end of the project. Big Shot and On A Mountain are the two tracks that stand out in that they should’ve been left in the studio, but Out The Hood quickly negates the lack of quality felt in the previous songs. Out The Hood is the most introspective and interesting Gunna has ever been as an artist. Although he uses a similar flow to other tracks, the lyrical quality and content proves that he’s built to last beyond his great 2018.
Playboi Carti makes an appearance on Same Yung N***a, and makes for one of the most enjoyable listens of the entire project. It’s one of the rare times where the albums picks up and becomes more exciting than the surface-level material on the majority of the album. Who You Foolin completes the trifecta that closes the album on a high note, as Gunna becomes Chinese for a track and fits incredibly well over the most left-field instrumental of the year.
All-in-all, the Drip or Drown 2 is full of songs that are just okay, with a few bright spots at the beginning and end of the album specifically. It might not be the best start to 2019 that Gunna was hoping for, but it’s enough to keep him relevant and have listeners looking forward to a project in the near future.
FINAL RATING (out of 100):