Album Review: Gunna – ‘A Gift & a Curse’

Posted: by The Editor

Gunna, “back at it,” just dropped his new project  A Gift & a Curse. It’s a meditative reflection on the growth and understanding that he’s been graced with lately. If you have not kept up with recent events, you may be surprised to learn that music artists Young Thug and Gunna, as well as many other artists of the Young Stoner Life (YSL) label, have been indicted on federal RICO charges on spurious evidence — some of which being rap lyrics, typically thought to be covered under freedom of expression under the First Amendment. A beleaguered yet resilient Gunna strides forward on this new tape, announcing he’s “back at it” over foreboding guitar chords, a fitting re-introduction to the Georgia rapper. 

After opener “back at it,” he’s “back to the moon,” lacing pining instrumentals over a sultry beat. On “ca$h $hit,” Gunna’s catchy chorus of “run up the racks like I wanna / count up them on racks with GunWunna” backs up this more reflective track. He announces on “rodeo dr” once again that he’s  “back”— this time on Rodeo Drive, weaving another trademark earworm chorus over a perfectly tailored beat – a recurring theme on the record, and a fitting one, given his situation. 

A classic Gunna track, “p angels,” saunters in with a soft piano introduction and the calming springtime sounds of birds chirping before a crushing bassline slices through the tranquility, accompanying Gunna’s forceful yet measured delivery. Again, in case it needs to be said, Gunna is back. Not just back from from prison, either, but back in the game. Lead single “bread & butter,” one of the album’s last tracks, gives us a perfect window into the rapper’s state of mind: “Fuck I paid the lawyers all them mills for?/ Just so I won’t have to say a word to dodge a railroad.” Despite the circumstances, Gunna delivers with a very good tape which stands out in a year of standout rap music.

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

A Gift & a Curse is out now.

Hanson Egerland | @pseudodiscourse

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