Officially Gucci Mane’s sophomore album after god knows how many mixtapes and a non-major debut, The State vs. Radric Davis is set to move nearly 100,000 units its first week while Davis sits out a yearlong prison sentence for violating parole. That album cover’s no joke. But when I say that The State is a near-perfect example of the frustration commercial radio rap causes these days, I’m not even talking about the anger that comes from watching talented, motivated artists getting sent up for parole violations as their careers are starting to peak. The State doesn’t seem concerned with any of that, just canary-yellow diamonds and casual sex. Exactly the inconsequential bullshitting the critics and hip-hop heads have bemoaned for years, and unlike, say, Lil’ Wayne or Drake, GM doesn’t even couch it in clever wordplay or punchlines. Nearly any memorable line comes courtesy of guests: Wayne, Devin the Dude, even Soulja Boy. But damned if you’ll get any of these songs out of your head. Jewelry-weigh-in “Heavy” is too happy to hate and “yellow everything” fashion statement “Lemonade” proves the little-kid-chorus can still be shockingly effective. “Bad Bad Bad” rides Keyisha Cole’s voice to unearned glory, and “Spotlight” manages to do the same with Usher. The hook for “Sex in Crazy Places,” though, is so dick-brained as to offend guest Trina while she’s rapping over it: “Do it at my momma’s house? No, I don’t think so.” Free Gucci Mane, but we need T.I. back more. — Jeremy Martin
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