Call it a meeting of the mindless. In this corner, Atlanta trap-rap star Gucci Mane, a giant in a subgenre known for its willful ignorance and adherence to hip-hop’s lowest-common-denominator values: drugs, money, bitches, beef. In the other corner, Bay Area aberration V-Nasty, a member of Kreayshawn’s White Girl Mob who is, to date, most famous for dropping the N-bomb in her shrill sizzurp-celebrating verses. BAYTL is their musical love child, a halfway-there, unnaturally slow piece of work that showcases more than a few symptoms of prenatal cocaine exposure. Producer Zaytoven keeps the beats minimal—Southern-fried, down-tempo, spangled with fake strings and minor keys—meaning more room for Gucci's mush-mouthed ramblings and V-Nasty’s slangy outbursts, both of which play fast and loose with highfalutin hip-hop conceits like couplet formation, syllable placement, and timing.
But to say BAYTL sucks is to pay it a compliment, essentially. Gucci’s lazy flow and general obliviousness are ambrosia and nectar to his followers—no one picked up Zone 6 to be challenged—but those same fans have been quick to dismiss V-Nasty for being a bad rapper. (A leaked version of BAYTL edited out her verses.) In truth, the Oakland emcee is every bit Gucci’s Caucasian hoodrat analog, and occasionally a bit sharper. On “Whip Appeal,” he big-ups himself with this gonzo boast: “I’m Gucci Mane, a monster / Not a jogger not a blogger.” For “Push Ups,” V actually musters a Janet Jackson joke: “It’s me bitches / Miss V bitches / Nasty if you ask me / Your brother wanna hit this.” In terms of keenness, it’s a circle versus an oval, but the point is less this pair’s differences and more their shared aplomb for being dimwitted. BAYTL is an album for B-movie lovers who prefer their entertainment blaring from the blown speakers of a rust-spackled Cadillac.