Monday, October 8th, 2018

Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars & Kodak Black – Wake Up in the Sky

Please lower your tray tables and return your seats to the upright position; blurbs will now be served in the main cabin…


Thomas Inskeep: Sign of the times: this is the first single from a new Gucci album, but he, Mars, and Kodak all get equal billing, and Gucci and Kodak each get one verse, while Mars gets the all-important chorus. Bruno’s also got a production credit, which makes sense, because track has a trap beat but it’s paired with some plush-as-fuck synths and a sumptuous melody on the chorus. And accordingly, Bruno’s chorus concerns how “super fly” he is (surprise, it regards smoke, drink, and the ladies). The thing is, when he sounds as sweet as a salted caramel frappucino as he does here, it’s hard not to love it. Gucci’s verse is fine (I like his cadence), Kodak’s is throwaway (as is par), but this is Bruno’s record; they’re just visiting. 

Ashley John: “Wake Up in the Sky” is a pop-infused reduction of the spacey, textured trap influence that has been bubbling in rap for the past few years. The grit of a line like, “I drink ’til I’m drunk/I smoke ’til I’m high” is smoothed away with Bruno’s silky voice. Gucci’s timing is spot on and refined. The manipulation of trends new and old into a lightweight pop-rap single is done well and done simply, perfectly lean. 

Julian Axelrod: Let’s get this out of the way: Kodak Black is an (alleged) rapist who has no business making music, much less appearing on a song with fucking Bruno Mars. To dismiss his verse as negligible or forgettable is beside the point; his mere presence on the song says volumes about our culture and its steadfast indifference toward assault survivors. It’s all the more disappointing because everything else around him gels so well. Gucci and Bruno have emerged as two of the preeminent chameleons in modern pop, brimming with personality, but versatile enough to slide between lanes. So it’s no surprise that their chemistry feels so lived-in and relaxed, with Guwop turning in his most focused and charismatic verse in years. (I wish I could live inside the way he says “Bitches staring at me saying wooowww.”) But for a song that promises paradise, its unwelcome guest is a dispiriting reflection of the very thing we’re trying to escape.

Stephen Eisermann: Never been a big fan of interpolation, but the “Unforgettable” interpolation works well here. The production feels smooth and ethereal, with Bruno’s chorus accentuating the vibes of the track. Gucci Mane’s verse is serviceable, if unremarkable, but Kodak Black stands in stark contrast to his song mates, as his verse is needlessly vulgar and his flow is sloppy and off-putting. More chorus and less Kodak next time, please.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: An awkward Bruno Mars performance alongside serviceable contributions from Gucci and Kodak. Nothing is quite as emblematic of my disinterest for this song as hearing “You can’t tell me I ain’t fly” followed by “I smell like Bond No. 9.”

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: On average, this is a pretty good Rich Homie Quan song.

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One Response to “Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars & Kodak Black – Wake Up in the Sky”

  1. The hook 300 percent sounds like Gucci wrote it.

    (Also, yes, fuck Kodak.)