Gucci Mane has had an eventful 2016 and all of it is capped off with the release of his fifth album this year The Return of East Atlanta Santa. Coming off of the two collaborative efforts the first with Future (on the Free Bricks 2k16: Zone 6 Edition) and Lil Yachty (on 1017 vs. The World) this is the Atlanta rapper’s third solo project this year. Boosting features from Bryson Tiller, Drake and Travis Scott, this is the third installment of the ‘East Atlanta Santa’ series. 

Let’s be honest here, none of us are checking for Gucci Mane to get conscious bars, because it’s all about the turn up. It’s about Gucci Mane being Gucci over some heaters. While credits for the production hasn’t come out yet, we do know that Metro Boomin’ has at least a beat on here. 13 tracks deep, Gucci delivers yet again on the holiday album we all really want this season. 

The Return of East Atlanta Santa actually has my favorite joint in the opening with ‘St. Brick Intro,’ sampling Jingle Bells, Gucci Mane fit this beat like a glove. Even more, the East Atlanta Santa dropped visuals for this joint. 

I do think Gucci could’ve used a couple more guest appearances on this, because as you get about halfway through, a lot of the songs start to sound the same. I won’t use this against the release, but with the guests he did get, it added enough flavor to the music that I didn’t feel like I was listening to the same song 13 times. 

Like I said Gucci brought Drake, Travis Scott and Bryson Tiller along with him on this Christmas journey and I think all of them came correct….except for Drake. On “Both,” Drake sings the hook talking about being both drunk and high at the same and on the low and it made a brother cringe. The verse was even worse. “Shout out Yachty, but this ain’t a Lil Boat." Come on Drake, you’re better than that. No, I wasn’t expecting a triple A verse from the rapper, but it really did sound like Drake just phoned this verse in. Also for those keeping score I think Bryson Tiller and Gucci sounded great together and hopefully we get more collabs from those two in the future. 

Despite my criticisms though, The Return of East Atlanta Santa is about laying down a mood, it’s not about having the hardest bars or even the hardest beats for that matter. I think when Gucci dropped the visuals for "St. Brick Intro," it set the tone for what Gucci was going for. That being said, grab your homies, because Gucci wants you to bring in the holidays ‘East Atlanta’ style.  Listen to the project here via Apple Music.

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