PSA: Sign petitions, donate, and if you’re able to, march. Action in the face of an oppressive system is a moral and civic responsibility, and this should never be taken lightly. If you are looking for ways to get involved, here is an action card from Black Lives Matter that is extremely comprehensive: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/#
I begged Mates for the opportunity to write this one. It is about my favorite rapper, possibly ever, definitely currently, Freddie Gibbs. Freddie is the greatest thing to come out of Gary, Indiana since RailCats baseball came to town in 2001. DEEEEEP Garry reference there for all my Midwest friends. Oh, and did I mention that this was produced by none other than The Alchemist?
This is Freddie Gibbs fourth collaborative album, two with Madlib, and now two with The Alchemist. This album really does remind me a lot of his most recent release of “Bandana” with super-producer Madlib. Like Bandana, in this project Freddie Kane dissects and styles over slowed down and soul-driven beats with lyrics that can only be described as a crime montage. I’m here for that shit.
“Crime fuckin’ pays, but once you paid, you gotta pay the man” Gibbs 4:20:187
One thing that I really love about Freddie when he does these collaboration albums, is that he has an innate ability to get into the pocket of the beat. He’s like a mad scientist; putting together a flow that not only violates the laws of man, but also of God. That shit’s hot though. This is on display in the song “Look at Me”.
A lesser rapper would shit their pants and then lie about it if they even attempted to rap over “Look at Me”. For other people who get wayyyy too hyped about cadence and delivery, this song is for you. Honestly, I don’t know he does it. He navigates this beat masterfully; weaving in and out, slowing and speeding up on a dime. He’s like a racecar driver with bars.
This song reminds me a lot of “Massage Seats” off of the album Bandana by Freddie and Madlib. There’s so much air that he leaves in the song for the sample, yet the song doesn’t sound underdeveloped or uninteresting. It’s really something that is important, beautiful and shows an insane amount of skill.
Okay, I feel like I am talking a lot about Madlib and Freddie Gibbs right now, let’s get back to the task at hand. Here are my favorite tracks off of the album (besides “Look at Me” which I’ve already talked about):
“Frank Lucas” feat Benny the Butcher
Straight up mean shit. This is dark, ill-intended, and dangerous. Remember when I said that the lyrics to this album are crime montage? Yeah. If you listen to this song and aren’t making a face like you’re about to fight or fart, then you really aren’t doing it right.
“Something to Rap About” feat Tyler the Creator
Okay, I’m biased. I love Tyler so damn much, and I really think that the juxtaposition between Freddie’s and Tyler’s voices works really well in this song. Whereas the last song was aggressive, this one is much more chill. Tyler and Freddie wrote and recorded this song shirtless, lounging on a bear-skin rug, while drinking fine brandy. I’ve been told I don’t have a source for that, and it shouldn’t be included in my article. I’ll come back and delete later.
This song definitely wins the award on this album for hottest beat. It’s a little jazzy, but the drums help to insert a bit of intensity to the song. The beat is a little light on bass, but thankfully Freddie has a deeper voice and is able to carry through acting as a pseudo-bassline. (Sorry for over-describing sounds Mates, I couldn’t help it). The lyrics to this are pretty dark. In many of his songs Freddie Gibbs glorifies crime and talks about how crime pays. In this song he takes a much more negative look at the trials and tribulations he has been through. Freddie isn’t always an especially introspective rapper, so this song is interesting to see him take a bit of a different approach. It’s very well done.
I could go on for hours about this album. It really is another feather in Freddie Gibbs hat, and should go on to be one of the best rap albums of 2020. I hope you guys enjoyed reading this. But again, if you didn’t, whatever. It’s not my time that was wasted. 🙂