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Gucci Mane: The Return Of Mr. Zone 6

B-

Gucci Mane

Album: The Return Of Mr. Zone 6
Label: Warner Bros.

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It’s only been six months since Gucci Mane, a.k.a. Radric Davis, released 2010’s The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted. But the Atlanta rapper has lived a lifetime of weirdness in that time. In January, Mane landed in a psychiatric ward by court order, and after, that he visited a tattoo parlor to get inked with a lightning-spiked ice-cream cone across his right cheek. Unfortunately for Mane, the body art sparked more discussion than any music he’s put out in a long while. The Return Of Mr. Zone 6 tries to change the subject by starting over. Along with longtime collaborator/producer Drumma Boy, Davis has employed a long list of close friends (protégé Waka Flocka Flame, OJ Da Juiceman) and Southern-rap mainstays (8Ball and Master P) to craft a back-to-basics gangsta-rap platter that’s every bit as workmanlike as his stunning prolificacy requires. Though the cavernous “Shout Out To My Set” sounds phoned-in and “Reckless” seems unfinished, there’s thunder to be found throughout, particularly in the muscular, 8Ball and Waka Flocka-bolstered “Pancakes,” and the howling six-minute closer “Trick Or Treat.”