It’s always really interesting when an OG and a new school rapper team up to collaborate with one another. I’ve been listening to Gucci Mane since his pre-penitentiary days and he truly knew what it meant to be a trap house icon. His music might not have been the most intricate or dexterous, but he has a quality about his sound and tone of voice that just made listeners believe every single word he spoke, no matter how intense it might be. Lil Baby, on the other hand, has taken the mainstream Rap world by storm and it’s clear why he blew up after listening to any one of his songs. His flows are insanely complex, his voice is unique, and he just carries himself in such a confident yet humble fashion.
Although it’s definitely not the first collaboration between these two Atlanta stars, the duo teams up for the lead single entitled “Both Sides” off of Gucci’s upcoming unnamed album. The beat begins with some hasty xylophone notes mixed in with what sounds like some background pan flutes before hard-hitting drums and classic trap percussion come into the picture in order to set the fast-paced tempo of this track. Lil Baby takes the verse and puts it into a headlock as he seems to be on a mission to destroy anyone who gets in his way. His attitude is in full effect and he’s not taking any slander or threats from anyone anymore. Gucci comes in for the first verse, and his somewhat laid back, relaxed, smooth disposition counter Baby’s assertive delivery. His words just seem to bounce along as he moves on throughout his part and the drums in the instrumental play with his words in an extremely appealing way. Lil Baby carries his insistent cadence into the second verse as he spits consistent bars in a very impressive manner once again. His voice is definitely part of the reason he has been so successful because it has a natural melodic quality to it that sticks out among everyone else in the industry. In this track, the duo discusses how people need to pick a side and how they’ll end up dead if they try and remain neutral, coming up from the streets where they had nothing, and not having any worries now that they’re successful in their music careers.
There’s actually also a music video that comes with this brand-new track, and it truly brings out the entire neighborhood. Quick introductory shots flash to different parts of Atlanta, showing off graffiti, trains, and other neighborhood staples. The first glimpse we get of the two rappers is on top of a roof with a group of other individuals as Gucci fans out stacks of money and Baby shows off some of the diamond chains in his collection. There are some very eye-opening moments throughout, as clips of children pretending to shoot guns are mixed in with actual guns being held in the waistbands of certain individuals. Everyone in the video seems to have their own individualistic style and personality, showing just how unique everyone who comes from Atlanta truly is. I can’t tell if this visual was recorded during the quarantine timeframe or not, because some people are wearing masks including Gucci who shows off a collection of designer face shields, but the vast majority of the large group isn’t wearing any sort of protection. There are signs talking about COVID, so I think it’s safe to assume that it’s probably during this time and they’re disregarding the rules. Other than the various neighborhood scenes, the only other setting is inside a dark room with a neon, zig-zag light in the background where the rappers can be seen for split seconds on occasion.
This new track is extremely interesting, and it definitely shows the progression Gucci Mane has made from his early days in music. While there are still certain parts that remind me of the classic style Gucci used to be known for, there’s almost a gratitude in his voice that you can hear as he talks about coming up from nothing and being more successful than anyone ever could have thought. Lil Baby’s opposing demeanor throughout the track was a great juxtaposition to his veteran counterpart, and it shows how well opposites attract. Although there are clear influences in Lil Baby’s music that scream Atlanta, he just has one-off characteristics about himself that make it obvious why he’s a star. While we wait for more updates on Gucci’s upcoming album, “Both Sides” is a wonderful introduction of what’s to come, so peep the new song and visual below.