livin’ wild – [Gunna]

YSL superstar Gunna is starting off 2022 with his foot on the gas, fresh off of the release of his highly anticipated album DS4EVER. In my own opinion, this album is his most polished album yet, and I can already say that it ranks very highly in his discography. While the flows and cadences may sound familiar, Gunna is reaching new heights on this album that he hasn’t reached before, and his superstardom is really beginning to be on full display. One of the tracks that stood out the most to me, would have to be “livin’ wild”, for many, many reasons. As one of the deeper tracks on his album, and serving as that halfway point on the album, Gunna offers fans a closer glimpse into his life and his emotions as he raps about one of the tolling moments of his life.

While most of Gunna’s lyrical content revolves around money and fashion, and sometimes love, it is very seldom that we get a deeper glimpse into his life and how he REALLY feels at times. On “livin’ wild”, Gunna recalls back to the moment he was hospitalized for pneumonia and also was suffering from kidney failure as well. As he raps in the song, “I just left the hospital, might need another liver/Kidney failures, I tell you this shit couldn’t get no realer”. Gunna also raps about the constant drug use that he’s battled, and even brought up the social media shame and hate that he experienced after he was seen trying whippets on Instagram Live.

Sampling the legendary Keith Sweat’s “Why Me Baby?” record, Gunna harmonizes over the hook, matching Sweat’s cadences from the original record. The visuals serve as the perfect setup and representation of how Gunna was feeling as he was in the hospital at risk of losing his life. He is then seen standing in the rain, as he lets his pain out on the track and revisits a very traumatizing moment in his life. The cinematography in the music video was amazingly done, flows with the record perfectly, and really immerses you into that exact moment that Gunna is recollecting. Easily, one of the best Gunna songs in his catalog, due to the level of vulnerability he showcases, on top of adding to his artistry by sampling a classic record by an R&B legend. Gunna is solidifying his stance in the game as one of the best of this generation.