Gucci Mane

Murder Was the Case

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When Southern rapper Gucci Mane rattles off a long list of why everything is "perfect" on the opening track, "Runnin Back (Getting Fat)," this 2009 effort looks to be the album where he sheds his skin and shakes off years of beefs and criminal charges -- up to and including murder -- while getting back to above ground business. Problem is, the callously titled Murder Was the Case is more dubious than most of the man's underground mixtapes, having been classified as a "non-official" release by Gucci himself. Even if he wasn't involved in the final track selection or the remixing of the street hit "Trap Money," fans get a handful of cuts that haven't appeared on mixtapes, and plenty of purposeful numbers that were recorded before things went sour between the Mane and the Big Cat label. Besides the vital opener there's the boastful and infectious single "Stoopid" plus the reggae-flavored "Murder for Fun," a Young Jeezy diss track previously spotted on mixtapes under the title "War." "Yella Diamonds" and the following "Get Low (Like a Lambo)" are more than worthy but many of the other tracks sound unfinished with low budget production supplied by either Zaytoven or DJ Speedy. This contractually obligated, clearing house of an album exists so Gucci could move on to his new label Warner Bros, but it saves collectors some effort by making sure his "lost years" aren't just scattered across bootlegs, unauthorized downloads, and hard to find mixtapes.

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