Day 15: "Gunwalk" feat. Gudda Gudda – I Am Not a Human Being 2, 2013
Kyle: Today, a new segment: It's Gudda Gudda discussion hour with my pal Bauce Sauce. Bauce is a huge Lil Wayne fan, but, more uniquely, he also identifies as #TeamGuddaGudda. This is not a popular affiliation: He's one of just three people who are not Gudda Gudda fan accounts on the whole network to tag himself that way, and he's the only member of #TeamGuddaGudda I know personally. Bauce spent years fighting with Wikipedia to make a page for Gudda Gudda, and he even interviewed Gudda Gudda for Noisey a few years ago, which was just the tipping point he needed to make that Wikipedia page a reality. It is now quite extensive.
Naturally, I had to bring Bauce in to discuss the man who is perhaps Lil Wayne's most misunderstood associate, a childhood friend who is part of both the Sqad Up and Young Money rosters but who is best known to America as the guy who rapped the "grocery bag" line on "Bedrock." Bauce, let's talk about Gudda Gudda, the man, the myth, the guy Wikipedia doesn't even need a disambiguation for.
Specifically, let's talk about this song. Why did you pick it?
Bauce: Some of my favorite Wayne songs are on his "lesser" projects. Much like how I Am Not A Human Being—notable for being the last time you heard from Jay Sean—was largely just a vehicle to release "Right Above It," I Am Not a Human Being II seems to exist solely to piggyback album sales off of the certified classic "Rich as Fuck." The album itself is a mess. Left off of Rebirth and released four years prior (though to be fair with a different set of verses), "Hot Revolver" is included as a bonus song. "No Worries" gets ported over from Dedication 4. "Love Me" and "Rich as Fuck" were both also leaked online prior to their album incarnations. After a minute and a half of the piano solo on the intro track, you nearly expect Meat Loaf to pop up and get to rockin' a damn ballad. But, no. We get Lil Wayne telling us, "I'm in the crib butt naked, bitch." In a last ditch effort to eke out as much promo for this hodgepodge of loosies, Kanye and DONDA designed the album art and packaging. IANAHB2 feels like it was only ever intended to maintain some relevance for Wayne during perhaps the least active period of his career. But horrible punchlines and cringeworthy imagery aside, IANAHB2 is still somehow a good album? We get a stellar Gunplay verse and an even better Boo feature. We get the most avant-garde verse in the history of rap courtesy of Soulja Boy on "Trigger Finger." The best parts of the album are the ones you wouldn't think would be. It's undeniable that Lil Wayne had fun making these songs. Just look at the video for "No Worries" or try to explain "Hello." Wayne had stated around this period that he was bored with rap, and wanted to spend most of his time skateboarding. IANAHB2 reflects that. It's not great, but it is fun, and having fun is half the battle to making good rap music.
Why I chose "Gunwalk" is because it's a gem, and the best song on the album to me. Lil Wayne is focused, and he stays on theme. He doesn't even rap one "I'm the shit" or oral sex bar! The result is an above average song, and we can thank Gudda² for that. A vast majority of Lil Wayne fans relegate Gudda to weed carrier status, or only know Gudda for the aforementioned "grocery bag" line, but as Gudda said in my interview with him for Noisey, "That verse don't define me at all. That might have been the biggest song I ever been on commercially. But that shit don't define me."
Gudda, who has a long history of being in something wide, has been Wayne's pal for almost two decades; their chemistry is undeniable. The beauty of Gudda Gudda is that he's the feather to Wayne's Mario. There's a reason he pops up randomly on a good song (e.g. "Grateful") unexpectedly. It's not that Wayne put Gudda on a good song. It's that Gudda being on them makes Wayne make them good. His presence seems to ground and inspire Wayne. He's been there since the beginning, and Wayne is certainly the star on his own, but when Gudda shows up on a song with him, he tries harder. Maybe it transports Wayne back to his Sqad Up days. Maybe it makes Wayne have more fun. Maybe it makes Wayne try harder. Whatever it is, the results are always elevated.
We get a few classic Weezyisms: "Emergency room, rushed over / Hollow tips, In the clip / My gun loaded, yours sober." However, Gudda is really the star on this song. He hits a nice, fluid pocket in the first four bars rapping a six syllable rhyme scheme then switches flows. From the Scottie Pippen line to the Pain Killer line, it's just a solid showing.
Kyle: I honestly don't love this song, but I do love that you can hear Wayne—like you said, ostensibly at his least interested in rapping—getting excited on the track, like he can't get enough of his own flow. Plus he says "my gun loaded, yours sober," which is a good line. But since we're talking about Gudda Gudda, let me give even more props to this line: "pop a pill, pop you; my nickname is Pain Killer." Gudda Gudda is a great foil to Wayne because his flow is so slow and blunt, which draws the craziness of Wayne's flow out even more. And when I think about it that way, I can't argue with your love of Mr. Gudda one bit.
Kyle Kramer is on vacation but still writing about Lil Wayne. Follow him on Twitter.
Bauce Sauce is having fun online. Follow him on Twitter.