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Really quick spins: Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie, Lil Wayne, Pimp C, Waka Flocka Flame

waWAKA! FLOCKA! WAKA! FLOCKA! WAKA! FLOCKA! (Photo courtesy the artist)

By Chris Richards

Over the past two weeks, hip-hop fans have found themselves swimming in a sluice of new albums -- some from rappers who are still serving time (Lil Wayne, Lil Boosie), one from a rapper who's no longer with us (Pimp C). Below, some of the best releases of the past fortnight, reviewed.

Gucci Mane, “The Appeal: Georgia's Most Wanted”
The Georgia drawler completed a much-publicized prison sentence in May and has returned to society with his sense of humor intact. Even in moments of reflection, Gucci can't suppress his wit. On "Little Friend," he ponders alternate career paths: "I could have been a doctor, should have been a lawyer/I go to court so much I could have been my own employer." And on "Weirdo" he champions himself as exactly that, inviting an object of his affection to "have breakfast on the moon." (You don't want to know where he's made dinner reservations.)

Lil Boosie, “Incarcerated”
Here's Lousiana's Lil Boosie on God, rap and blood-sugar: "Diabetes steady eating my insides, [messing] my vision up/I swear to God, I feel like givin' up... Wish I could take it all back sometimes/Truth is, I don't even like to rap sometimes." He's always had a gift for balancing fury and introspection, but Boosie's true appeal is in his voice -- a tightly-pinched sneer that seems to rise in frequency along with his blood pressure. "Incarcerated" isn't his most lyrically rewarding album, but his throat is tightly clenched.

Lil Wayne, “I Am Not a Human Being”
Currently available online and landing in terrestrial record stores next week, Lil Wayne's latest proves that even at half-throttle, his cosmic croak remains effective both in deep space and between the sheets. "I'm Single," a woozy ode to the forbidden thrills of infidelity, finds him negotiating bizarre love triangles, trapezoids and double-dodecahedrons. "We both say we single and we both lying," he rasps. "We both wrong, but it feels right/Put your hands up if you're single for the night." But the album's title track is all spaced-out trash talk, with Weezy vaunting over what sounds like a mutant Run-D.M.C. B-side.

Pimp C, “The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones”
Some devotees rue the fact that he never got his due as a rapper before he died of a drug overdose in 2007, but did Pimp C ever get his due as a singer? "The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones" is thick with the unapologetic rhymes that made the Port Arthur, Tex. native a Southern rap superhero, but its Pimp's supple falsetto that truly amplifies this posthumous album's bittersweetness.

Waka Flocka Flame, “Flockaveli”
He's finally here: A rapper who's figured out how to bulldoze through rhyme, meter and intelligibility. The rookie's debut proudly stands as the most anarchic rap album of 2010, crammed with cacophonous beats, disorienting odes to gun play and other blunt force confusion. “Bustin’ At Em” might have been recorded in a war zone -- in between the sounds of gunfire, there are shouted phrases that vaguely resemble rhymes. It's the first song on the album. Somehow, it all gets noisier.

By Chris Richards  | October 8, 2010; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  Really quick spins  | Tags:  Gucci Mane, Lil Boosie, Lil Wayne, Pimp C, Waka Flocka Flame  
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