An Intro To Gunna
Gunna is a 26 year old rapper from College Park, Georgia, who despite having a slow start to his career has rocketed into the mainstream over the last couple of years. Gunna released his first mixtape ‘Hard Body’ back in 2013 under the name Yung Gunna, but didn’t really see any rise in his career until he met Young Thug in 2015. In 2016 Gunna signed to Young Thugs label YSL Records, was featured on Thug’s ‘Jeffrey’ album, and released his debut mixtape as Gunna in October, titled ‘Drip Season’. He followed that up by releasing the follow up ‘Drip Season 2’ in May of 2017, and then soon after that dropped a collaborative EP ‘Drip Or Drown’ with producer Wheezy. In 2017 Gunna also had one of his songs feature on a radio station in video game Grand Theft Auto, and it was around this point that Gunna really started to progress further into the mainstream.
In February of 2018 he released ‘Drip Season 3’, the third mixtape in the series and by far his most popular up until that point, boasting featured from artists such as Lil Yachty & Lil Durk. Throughout 2018 he had a number of solid features on popular songs, most notably on Travis Scott’s ‘Yosemite’. In October of 2018 Gunna linked up with frequent collaborator Lil Baby to release their ‘Drip Harder’ album, which went on to reach number 4 on the Billboard 200 & contained one of Gunna’s biggest hits so far, ‘Drip So Hard’. He released his most recent project in February of 2019, his debut studio album ‘Drip Or Drown 2’, featuring Lil Baby, Young Thug & Playboi Carti. And most importantly of all, Gunna really made his mark as a feature artist in 2019, appearing on a massive amount of tracks, and more often than not delivering an enjoyable performance.
So why is Gunna in contention for the ‘Best’?
A big reason Gunna is a contender for the best is simply the quantity of features he had in 2019, it would be silly to leave out any rapper who has featured on 50+ songs last year. I think quantity is an important thing to take into account to a certain extent, having so many features meant that Gunna constantly had a presence throughout the year, and was always one of the first names that popped into my head when I was thinking about who had been making waves as a feature artist. Quantity aside, Gunna also had a lot of quality features, commonly matching the vibe of the track and even being the standout at times. Below are all the songs I’ve taken into consideration, they all were released in 2019 and all have Gunna as a feature artist. I’ll include a little note on why I disliked certain songs just for clarification.
The Good (Good songs with above average Gunna features)
• Moneybagg Yo – Dior (ft. Gunna)
• Young Thug – Hot (ft. Gunna)
• Quality Control – Pink Toes (ft. Offset, Gunna & DaBaby)
• Tyga – Legendary (ft. Gunna)
• 21 Savage – can’t leave without it (ft. Gunna & Lil Baby)
• Future – Unicorn Purp (ft. Young Thug & Gunna)
• Polo G – Pop Out Again (ft. Lil Baby & Gunna)
• Hoodrich Pablo Juan – Just Vibe (ft. Gunna)
• Ufo361 – On Time (ft. Gunna)
• Roddy Rich – Start Wit Me (ft. Gunna)
• Zoey Dollaz – Made Me A Dogg (ft. Gunna)
• G-Eazy – I Wanna Rock (ft. Gunna)
• Offset – Wild Wild West (ft. Gunna)
• Young Thug – Diamonds (ft. Gunna)
• Jacquees – Verify (ft. Young Thug & Gunna)
• Smokepurrp – Baguettes (ft. Gunna)
• Blueface – First Class (ft. Gunna)
• Lil Gotit – Hood Gunna (ft. Gunna)
• Lil Duke – Petty(ft. Gunna)
• Lil Keed – Anybody (ft. Lil Duke & Gunna)
• G-Herbo – Trained To Kill (Big Body Whip) (ft. Gunna)
• Yung Joc – Perfect Timing (ft. Gunna & B. Smyth)
• Yung Bans – Hold Up (ft. Gunna & Young Thug)
• Casanova – So Drippy (ft. Gunna & Young Thug)
• Marlo – AMG (ft. Rylo, NoCap & Gunna)
• Eazy Swindles – Bell (ft. Gunna)
• Koffee – W (ft. Gunna)
• LOR. 3leven – Dead Wrong (ft. Gunna)
• Rockstar Rodie – Man 2 Be (ft. Gunna)
• Chris Brown – Heat (ft. Gunna)
The Bad (Bad song, bad feature, or both)
• Gucci Mane – ICE (ft. Gunna & Lil Baby) whole thing boring/lazy
• Young Thug – Surf (ft. Gunna) okay song but average gunna feature
• Mustard – Woah Woah (ft. Young Thug & Gunna) good album, eh song
• DJ Khaled – Freak N You (ft. Lil Wayne & Gunna) not bad, but underwhelming
• French Montana – Suicide Doors (ft. Gunna) goes nowhere
• Jeezy – All Night (ft. Gunna) good gunna verse but Jeezy is nothing special
• Nav – Hold Your Breath (ft. Gunna) gunna verse is okay, Nav is Nav
• Lil Mosey – Stuck In A Dream (ft. Gunna) lil Mosey lol
• Lil Skies – Stop The Madness (ft. Gunna) great gunna verse, lame Skies lyrics
• Yung Mal – War (ft. Gunna) good hook, average verses
• Iann Dior – Strings (ft. Gunna) decent gunna feature but a bit generic otherwise
• Spiffy Global – High w/ Stars (ft. Hoodrich Pablo Juan & Gunna) whole song pretty mid
• Davido – Big Picture (ft. Gunna, Dremo & A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie) good vibe, but short A Boogie verses and phoned in gunna feature.
• Doe Boy – Too Playa (ft. Gunna) decent feature but doe Boy is average
• Nechie – Pray To The Lord (ft. Gunna) just average all the way through
• Leeky Bandz – Picasso (ft. Gunna) not bad, not good
• Kid Rootz – STUDIO (ft. Gunna & Young Thug) good gunna verse, rest ehh
• Dave East – Everyday (ft. Gunna) boring
• Sosamann – Sauce To Drip (ft. Gunna) sosamann is ok, gunna is quite bad
• Strick – Pour A Pint (ft. Gunna) gunna is decent, strick is no good tho
• Dy Krazy – No Fasad (ft. Gunna) okay verses but boring hook
I’d say Gunna is one of the best examples of quantity over quality in 2019, and although his quantity of features was seriously impressive it almost felt like too much, with a lot of features lacking effort or originality as the year went on. To prove my point, Gunna featured on a total of 51 songs in 2019, and of those I thought 30 songs were enjoyable songs with above average Gunna features. Although this proves my point that his quality wasn’t the best and he lacked consistency, at the end of the day there were 30 songs in 2019 that I enjoyed that feature Gunna on them. This is more good features than the total amount of features of half the artists in contention, and in the end it’s the good features that are memorable and that I like to focus on more for these write ups.
Gunna for the most part is pretty average, he doesn’t really offer anything new in terms of flows, delivery or bars, but he still has a knack for delivering quality features mainly due to his often pleasant melodies and his ability to ride a beat and find his place on any song. Gunna isn’t exactly the kind of artists to renegade another rapper on the their track, and is rarely even the standout, but he often fits the vibe of a song perfectly and is a pleasant addition to a track. There are certain times that he does stand out but that’s usually because of a weak performance from another artist.
Despite all my criticisms, there were many times I thought ‘Wow that was actually an enjoyable Gunna verse’. I thought he had an amazing verse on the reggae influence ‘W’ by Koffee, loved his chemistry with Roddy Rich on ‘Start Wit Me’, I think his monotone nonchalant delivery works amazingly on the Blueface single ‘First Class’, he had a surprisingly impressive verse on the song ‘On Time’ by German rapper Ufo361, and I think he provided both an amazing verse and chorus for Lil Dukes ‘Petty’. These are just some of my favourites of his that I don’t see mentioned too much, but I also thoroughly enjoyed his collaborations with Moneybagg Yo, Tyga, Future, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, G-Eazy, Jacquees & Zoey Dollaz.
All this combined is really just proof that Gunna put in work and delivered more than enough enjoyable verses throughout the year to at least be in contention for the best feature artist of the year. He may have lacked consistency, but he hustled hard enough for the entirety of the year that he was one of the most prominent feature artists of the year. I feel like he had a slightly better year than in 2018 and look forward to what he has to offer in 2020.
My favourite Gunna features were Moneybagg Yo’s ‘Dior’, Tyga’s ‘Legendary’, Hoodrich Pablo Juan’s ‘Just Vibe’, Bluefaces ‘First Class’, & Koffee’s ‘W’.
What were your favourite Gunna features of 2019?
Do you think he had a good year?
Contender 5 – Guapdad 4000 (includes links to parts 1-4)
Next up is JID!
Thanks For Reading!
– Shan –