"Coulda been a doctor, shoulda been a lawyer/Go to court so much I coulda been my own employer." This line from album opener and Bun B collab, "Little Friend," is a veritable thesis statement for The Appeal, the new full-length from the equally venerated and vilified Radric Davis. The song could easily be another hackneyed rap attempt at Scarface appropriation, but it works, partly because of Darkchild's ominous backing track, but mostly because Gucci sounds like he's finally done giving a fuck. Past tracks like "Wasted" put Gooch's nihilistic bent on display, but it always seemed forced; now, it's less nihilism than the sound of a man who's used his time locked up to get free. Don't misread me: Gandhi he ain't (see the grossly hedonistic "Making Love to the Money" and "Dollar Sign"). But I dare say The Appeal displays a new, more enlightened Gucci. And you know? It's a good look for him. (4 out of 5 stars).