Features | Awards

The Ability to Go Into the Human Ear Without Particularly Egregious Affront Award

By Clayton Purdom | 14 December 2009

Gucci Mane :: EA Sportscenter
(2009)









Oh, Gucci Mane, my sweet idiot. Any music critic with 2dopeboys on their RSS feed knows to like you, some may just be confused about how exactly we go about doing that. Lord knows I’ve struggled, being that in the time it’s taken me to write this sentence you’ve already cut two new records, and that the act of acquiring one such mixtape is an almost surefire route to either a computer virus, a mixtape that I’d listen to for fifteen minutes before I realized it wasn’t even by Gucci Mane, or, best case scenario, 78 minutes of 96kbps cut-rate production and—what, exactly? What are you offering, Gucci? What was I doing in the first place?

This award isn’t intended to answer that question—although mark me down in favor of Gucci’s vibrant wordvomit, where swagger comes across as more mouthfeel than like “content.” Instead, I want to award Gucci Mane’s mixtape EA Sportscenter for not only having the most inscrutably copyright infringing name but also being the only mixtape I have thus far found by the emcee that I can listen to in its entirety without my ears bleeding. Because unlike the oft-compared Lil Wayne, there will never be a debate about which mixtape to pin as Gucci’s canonical effort. Because I don’t think anybody thinks Gucci will ever get his shit together well enough to record an actual album, or even like a great track, or even a great rap. Gucci seems to appeal to people who enjoyed foraging through Weezy mixtapes so much a few years ago that they’ve become nostalgic for the sifting process itself, and God bless it, here I am, a-sifting. And at the end of all the wrought, fervent work, all the prolonged radio spots and ear-shredding hooks and unimaginably bad guest emcees, I find you, _EA Sportscenter_—no diamond, to be sure, but without a doubt the only Gucci Mane mixtape that can be listened to in its entirety without causing any undue harm to its listener. I salute you.