Music

What Went Right With… Cory Gunz?

An image of Cory GunsThree things I don’t particularly like and aren’t a fan of: nepotism, the noughties, and Cash Money Records. But, as Charles Dickens wrote (and Justin Bieber later bastardised): “Never Say Never”. Cory Gunz is the son of Bronx rapper Peter Gunz, he had a burgeoning career during the 2000s, and he was signed by Cash Money and Young Money Entertainment. So on paper, Cory is someone I shouldn’t like – but I do – In fact I think he had the potential to be one of the best. Listen to him freestyle here (whilst seeing Funkmaster Flex looking perplexed at his unrelenting flow) and tell me you don’t agree…

The further the noughties went, the more dumbed-down Hip-Hop got and I guess in a decade of mediocrity, the public weren’t ready to make a “lyrical” rapper a household name. Either that or Cory himself, like his lyrical contemporary Papoose, spent too long in the mixtape scene, releasing several free tapes but no studio albums. Without an LP, song, or a solo hit to his name, Cory Gunz will (in the eyes of the mainstream at least) be the guy who was featured in Lil Wayne’s “6 Foot 7 foot” and “A Milli” Remix, but as I’ve already stated; he could have been so much more…

In the noughties, Cory’s music was in my Classic iPod and I would play his freestyles in my Lexus LS400 on full blast. Here’s “Hood Hop” freestyle and “Guess Who’s Home” freestyle, both worthy of a bass-y sound system (even though the hook in the latter track is mediocre)…

On a couple of occasions, Gunz would outshine the original joint. For instance here’s “Dats Me!” freestyle in which he outdoes Cam’Ron’s song…

And “Setup” freestyle outdoing the original Obie Trice track…

Having also outshone Wayne on his own track (or tracks) most Young Money fans would prefer to forget that Cort Gunz even exists, and unfortunately most other people have too. Ask most rap fans in 2020 who Cory Gunz is and they’ll either not know, or their answer will involve label-mate Lil Wayne, friend Nick Cannon, or his father Peter Gunz. Most people have forgotten that Cory Gunz was one of the best double-time rappers of all time…

Despite lacking a strong marketing push by his label, Cory Gunz did try to have a mainstream career. In 2013 he made a music video for “Do Something” from his mixtape Datz WTF I’m Talkin Bout but unfortunately it didn’t make that much noise during a time of garbage muzak from a slew of overrated acts…

To me, Cory’s stalled or suppressed career felt a bit like Lord Have Mercy in Busta Rhymes’ Flipmode Squad; Cory Gunz wasn’t supposed to over-do their lead star Lil Wayne so YMCMB possibly blackballed him. I mean, Cory’s Kriminal Minded which has been spoken about since the mid-’10s has yet to see the light of day!

In order to fit in with what the music establishment wants, Cory has subdued or dumbed-down his flow in numerous songs such as the aforementioned “Do Something” and “I Got It”, but he didn’t go without delivering this apt line: “I’m rapping like this because you dickheads don’t listen to straight lyrics”. Ain’t that the truth. The music business and rap fans didn’t want to hear so-called “Lyrical Hip-Hop”, and look at the genre now: filled to the brim with sub-par rapping. You only have yourselves to blame.

Music is a young person’s game. Careers are over by the time most musicians reach thirty and Cory Gunz should really have been pushed to the forefront in his twenties. I swear Tommy Mottola and Casablanca Records (who originally signed Cory when he was young) have been responsible for ruining the careers of at least two G.O.A.T.S. but I guess that’s for another article. Speaking of “the greatest”, just because his output is now relegated to YouTube and Datpiff, it doesn’t prevent Cory Gunz from being in anyone’s Top 100, 50, 25, or Top 10 List.

Put Your Gunz In The Air.

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