It could have been – and should have been – the album of the hour. The reputation of Sergio Kitchens speaks volumes. Since 2018, he has leased a new hit formula that has made him the driving force behind recent years. Small melodies that hypnotically burn themselves into the brain through minimal variations and endless repetitions. Plus a new era of atmospheric beats, prematurely crowned by the reintroduction of the guitar. It goes without saying that Gunna’s spotlight and driving force position should now be poured into one project – “Wunna” – a Magnum Opus with announcement. Already the lead singles made it clear: The sound swings lighter and more summery than the psychedelic-hypnotic “Drip Harder” and “Drip or Drown 2”, the two masterpieces in his catalogue. The title song “Wunna” is great cinema. The cut-down vocal performance brings us the lost paradise into quarantine, what happens in verse two and how the verse and chorus finally become one – a dream. Well, and the album? Right at track two you ask yourself what the fuck is going on. The skeletonized “gimmick” tears out completely unnecessarily before you’re even really in it. Somewhere in the background strings can be guessed.
Why does Gunna suddenly want strings!? Gloomy premonition sets in and is confirmed in the course of the tracklist: “Wunna” is a mixed heap of songs that swings back and forth between uninspired to catastrophic, but also brilliant moments. There’s “Top Floor” with Travis Scott, for example, whose droning vocals waft through the beat without orientation and only bring the certainty that Scott obviously has no plan how Gunna songs work. Also King Thugger presses the brakes so hard when he starts his part on the actually great “Dollaz On My Head” that one wonders if he wants to join the Sleep Podcast. “Rockstar Bikers & Chains” is the final cringe summit of a generation of rappers who pose empty with leather jacket and air guitar. At times Gunna’s jabbering about hot ovens and heavy chains reminds us of the wet eyes of kindergarten kids when Uncle Armin rushes by on his moped. But look, the Roddy Rich feature in the back third pulls the cart out of the dirt! Kill me, I never wanted to like this profileless Young Thug imitation, but his verses are Grammy material. In between, other Gems are glittering: “MOTW”, “Met Gala” – a beautiful “Sold Out Dates” remix – and “Skybox” show bittersweetly where the strengths of the inventor of the Drip and his boys lie on the FL-Keys. Namely in a maelstrom of captivating melodies, from which you can neither escape nor want to, paired with instrumentals that swap Gunna’s hitherto rather gloomy codeine-vibe for four weeks of goodlife in sunny floods on finca terraces. Let’s face the facts: We wanted a crisp album with a homogeneous vibe, because that’s what we love Gunna for. What did we get? 18 songs, a third of which can easily be thrown away, and a handful of brainstorms, the rest of which can’t breathe.