"Evil Genius" is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Gucci Mane. It was released on December 7, 2018, by Atlantic Records and GUWOP Enterprises. The album features guest appearances from Lil Skies, Kevin Gates, 21 Savage, Kodak Black and Bruno Mars, among others.
For a rapper known for his recklessness, he plays it uncharacteristically safe. Save for the prim, Bruno Mars and Kodak Black-assisted soul throwback “Wake Up in the Sky,” Evil Genius sticks entirely to of-the-moment trap, with a cadre of the industry’s top producers all contributing mostly interchangeable music. The beats are hard, sometime impressively so—especially during the record’s cold, bass-heavy opening stretch, including the Quavo feature “BiPolar,” where Gucci lands the record’s greatest Gucci-ism: “I’m talking to a shrink and I’m draped in a mink.”
Too often Gucci is rapping about the things he used to do, the life he used to lead, the terror he used to be. He’s already documented all that extensively, and his raps about those darker days aren’t becoming any more revealing the further removed he is from them. Instead, it would be nice to hear him rap a little more about the man he’s become, the ab-plated, kale-devouring, self-actualized newlywed currently living out one of those most riveting second acts in rap history. Now there’s a figure we still have new things to learn about. Gucci Mane still has plenty of new ground to explore, but on Evil Genius, he opts not to go there.
Reviewed by Evan Rytlewski for pitchfork.com. User Comments