Posted by , Aug 5, 2015 at 05:21pm
EDITOR RATING
59%
Golden: 2Broken: 2
Consensus
AUDIENCE RATING
59%
76 votes
Editor reviews (tap to expand)
45%
Maxwell Cavaseno
More Like Urban Myth
212
55%
Rose Lilah
Too little too late
Gunplay is an artist who has (/had) potential, but he squandered it on "Living Legend." Uninspired and outdated production doesn't help weak song concepts like the incessantly annoying "Tell 'Em."
910
68%
Patrick Lyons
What could have been...
While Gunplay's at least somewhat to blame for this uneven album, I'm saving most of my shade for MMG, whose refusal to put out this debut for years ends up harming what could have been a decent album in 2012. "Living Legend" sounds dated, and not enough time is spent focusing on Don Logan's admittedly incredible lyrical gift. Hopefully he'll be able to rebound from this, but that's up to Ricky Rozay.
47
69%
Trevor Smith
Gunplay can't sustain the MMG trauma
Gunplay has always been a rapper who shone through in moments rather than full-length statements, but "Living Legend" fails to capture anything as exhilarating as "Cartoon & Cereal" or "Bible On The Dash". While Don Logan's unmatched energy and vivid punchlines remind us of what he's capable of here and there, the LP is ultimately bogged down by production that sounds like it was pulled from a hard drive of "Self Made Vol. 1" outtakes. Even as a rapper who's been known to breathe life into 96kbps MP3s on his mixtapes, it would be hard to expect Gunplay to find inspiration in what he's been provided with here.
68
User  Rating:
meh
59% (76)
Rate it!
audience rating
38 VERY HOTTTTT
6 HOTTTTT
2 MEH
6 NOT FEELING IT
24 MAKE IT STOP
User Rating:
59% (76)
The most slept-on gives us product that's stepped on.

Gunplay, AKA Don Logan, has had a rough ride as a rapper. Once a ghost writer for Trina, alongside his current employer Rick Ross, he has spent the last few years adapting himself to the current rap landscape, painting himself as a lyrically adept yet drug-addled maniac; if you wanted to reduce him to absolute caricature, imagine a guy dressed like Waka Flocka Flame doing the scene from "Always Sunny" where Charlie Day kicks open the door of a van while screaming out "WILD CARD, BITCHES!!!!" Yeah, that guy made a rap album.

It hasn’t been the easiest of transitions to the top though. While in that strange world of 2011/2012 where the rap internet had yet to feel as exhausted, the Triple Cs member was the ‘secret weapon’ of a Maybach Music Group that’d recently acquired the likes of Meek Mill and Wale known for dropping franticly aggressive fight music, bragging on his coke addiction or his odd penchant for facist imagery. However, whereas his trapper contemporaries like Waka Flocka Flame were known for brute force, Gunplay had the dexterity of his Slip-n-Slide background, and a lyrical bent to his brutishness that recalled old-school Southern throwbacks like Willie D. It was an easy sell, or so it seemed at the time, but a handful of singles came and went to no success, and a guaranteed show-stealer of a guest verse on Kendrick Lamar’s "Cartoon & Cereal" was denied of good kid, m.A.A.d city fame. Between that and his own legal issues, the ever familiar saga of album delays began to swallow up the hopes of Gunplay’s debut.

So here we are in the summer of 2015, with Living Legend to behold. Unfortunately, the whole album is suffering from a number of problems. To begin, when Gunplay had fully started to embody his concept, it was alongside a lot of the newfound aggression in trap music, specifically the beats of Lex Luger. Luger had helped secure his benefactor, Rick Ross', ascension to the then-king of the streets via undeniable anthems like "BMF" and "MC Hammer." So likewise, it was the Luger-forged "Rollin," featuring Waka Flocka, that brought him to prominence because they were so jarring and fresh. On Living Legend, though, there is no evolution-- instead we’re treated to a lot of generic retreads of records we’d been subjected to for years now. Whether its the seriousness of "Just Won’t Do," with guest vocalist PKJ’s ugly rapsing getting masked by auto-tune, or the clamour of "Be Like Me," so many records sound like attempted-refurbishments of what this man's used to. It's as if so much of his identity is built around this sound which, to be honest, he was always kind of an opportunist sneaking his way into. Perhaps that, the self-conscious novelty aspects, or the fact that he was just so obviously older than everyone in the trapper scene. 36 is pretty long in the tooth to be forced to sell yourself as a "new" rapper after all.

Occasionally he tried to break up the monotonous tendencies with a few attempts to modernize and keep up with the kids, without seeming too trendy. But even his curve-balls feel rather limp-wristed. On "Chain Smokin" produced by and featuring Maybach Music Group affiliate Stalley, he’s utterly outclassed by the king of weed rap Curren$y, who’s completely at home on the Michael Jackson sample polished up (but he can still rap circles around Stalley, so its not a total loss). And it isn’t just the fact that he struggles to connect with DJ Mustard and YG on "Wuzhanindoe?" that really takes the bite out of it, but the fact that its a remake of YG’s “BPT” (itself a remake to replace "Bompton" from Just Re’d-Up 2). Gunplay seems to have lost the ear for any potential hits, if he’s even being allowed to select from the cream of the crop these days.

It's not just the lackluster selection of beats which make Living Legend a chore, this just doesn’t sound like the same ol’ Don Logan. Album opener "Tell ‘Em" is simply a sloppily delivered list of things that you could compare Gunplay to, paying lazy tribute to Cam’ron’s "Get ‘em Daddy"; his Rick Ross duet "Be Like Me" features the two old comrades forcing out as much enthusiasm and hollow threats as they can to no avail. The heart of his old aggression is just not there, and he rarely indulges his introspective or philosophical side with the sort of clarity like he used to; when he talks about the irony of smiley faces on the bricks in "Dark Dayz," his delivery lacks the urgency and emotion that gave him the potential to be so overwhelming. So by the time the mandatory R&B motivation of "Leave The Game" comes along, featuring a typically out-of-key Masspike Miles, you’re left wondering what the point was for all the fanfare and fireworks.

Review: Gunplay's "Living Legend"

 
59%

Editor rating

Golden: 2 Broken: 2
Consensus

Audience rating

76 votes
59 %

Editor Rating

45%
Maxwell Cavaseno More Like Urban Myth
212
55%
Rose Lilah Too little too late
Gunplay is an artist who has (/had) potential, but he squandered it on "Living Legend." Uninspired and outdated production doesn't help weak song concepts like the incessantly annoying "Tell 'Em."
910
68%
Patrick Lyons What could have been...
While Gunplay's at least somewhat to blame for this uneven album, I'm saving most of my shade for MMG, whose refusal to put out this debut for years ends up harming what could have been a decent album in 2012. "Living Legend" sounds dated, and not enough time is spent focusing on Don Logan's admittedly incredible lyrical gift. Hopefully he'll be able to rebound from this, but that's up to Ricky Rozay.
47
69%
Trevor Smith Gunplay can't sustain the MMG trauma
Gunplay has always been a rapper who shone through in moments rather than full-length statements, but "Living Legend" fails to capture anything as exhilarating as "Cartoon & Cereal" or "Bible On The Dash". While Don Logan's unmatched energy and vivid punchlines remind us of what he's capable of here and there, the LP is ultimately bogged down by production that sounds like it was pulled from a hard drive of "Self Made Vol. 1" outtakes. Even as a rapper who's been known to breathe life into 96kbps MP3s on his mixtapes, it would be hard to expect Gunplay to find inspiration in what he's been provided with here.
68

Audience Rating

How do you rate this album/mixtape?
User  Rating:
audience rating
38 VERY HOTTTTT
6 HOTTTTT
2 MEH
6 NOT FEELING IT
24 MAKE IT STOP
 

The most slept-on gives us product that's stepped on.


Gunplay, AKA Don Logan, has had a rough ride as a rapper. Once a ghost writer for Trina, alongside his current employer Rick Ross, he has spent the last few years adapting himself to the current rap landscape, painting himself as a lyrically adept yet drug-addled maniac; if you wanted to reduce him to absolute caricature, imagine a guy dressed like Waka Flocka Flame doing the scene from "Always Sunny" where Charlie Day kicks open the door of a van while screaming out "WILD CARD, BITCHES!!!!" Yeah, that guy made a rap album.

It hasn’t been the easiest of transitions to the top though. While in that strange world of 2011/2012 where the rap internet had yet to feel as exhausted, the Triple Cs member was the ‘secret weapon’ of a Maybach Music Group that’d recently acquired the likes of Meek Mill and Wale known for dropping franticly aggressive fight music, bragging on his coke addiction or his odd penchant for facist imagery. However, whereas his trapper contemporaries like Waka Flocka Flame were known for brute force, Gunplay had the dexterity of his Slip-n-Slide background, and a lyrical bent to his brutishness that recalled old-school Southern throwbacks like Willie D. It was an easy sell, or so it seemed at the time, but a handful of singles came and went to no success, and a guaranteed show-stealer of a guest verse on Kendrick Lamar’s "Cartoon & Cereal" was denied of good kid, m.A.A.d city fame. Between that and his own legal issues, the ever familiar saga of album delays began to swallow up the hopes of Gunplay’s debut.

So here we are in the summer of 2015, with Living Legend to behold. Unfortunately, the whole album is suffering from a number of problems. To begin, when Gunplay had fully started to embody his concept, it was alongside a lot of the newfound aggression in trap music, specifically the beats of Lex Luger. Luger had helped secure his benefactor, Rick Ross', ascension to the then-king of the streets via undeniable anthems like "BMF" and "MC Hammer." So likewise, it was the Luger-forged "Rollin," featuring Waka Flocka, that brought him to prominence because they were so jarring and fresh. On Living Legend, though, there is no evolution-- instead we’re treated to a lot of generic retreads of records we’d been subjected to for years now. Whether its the seriousness of "Just Won’t Do," with guest vocalist PKJ’s ugly rapsing getting masked by auto-tune, or the clamour of "Be Like Me," so many records sound like attempted-refurbishments of what this man's used to. It's as if so much of his identity is built around this sound which, to be honest, he was always kind of an opportunist sneaking his way into. Perhaps that, the self-conscious novelty aspects, or the fact that he was just so obviously older than everyone in the trapper scene. 36 is pretty long in the tooth to be forced to sell yourself as a "new" rapper after all.

Occasionally he tried to break up the monotonous tendencies with a few attempts to modernize and keep up with the kids, without seeming too trendy. But even his curve-balls feel rather limp-wristed. On "Chain Smokin" produced by and featuring Maybach Music Group affiliate Stalley, he’s utterly outclassed by the king of weed rap Curren$y, who’s completely at home on the Michael Jackson sample polished up (but he can still rap circles around Stalley, so its not a total loss). And it isn’t just the fact that he struggles to connect with DJ Mustard and YG on "Wuzhanindoe?" that really takes the bite out of it, but the fact that its a remake of YG’s “BPT” (itself a remake to replace "Bompton" from Just Re’d-Up 2). Gunplay seems to have lost the ear for any potential hits, if he’s even being allowed to select from the cream of the crop these days.

It's not just the lackluster selection of beats which make Living Legend a chore, this just doesn’t sound like the same ol’ Don Logan. Album opener "Tell ‘Em" is simply a sloppily delivered list of things that you could compare Gunplay to, paying lazy tribute to Cam’ron’s "Get ‘em Daddy"; his Rick Ross duet "Be Like Me" features the two old comrades forcing out as much enthusiasm and hollow threats as they can to no avail. The heart of his old aggression is just not there, and he rarely indulges his introspective or philosophical side with the sort of clarity like he used to; when he talks about the irony of smiley faces on the bricks in "Dark Dayz," his delivery lacks the urgency and emotion that gave him the potential to be so overwhelming. So by the time the mandatory R&B motivation of "Leave The Game" comes along, featuring a typically out-of-key Masspike Miles, you’re left wondering what the point was for all the fanfare and fireworks.

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