SURPRISE MIXTAPE DROP!!!! Yes, it’s that time again, as we got another hip-hop project that just dropped on us suddenly because as I said before, sometimes hip-hop releases will drop just like that, and with the other releases that happened this month……oh boy, I might have to cut some stuff out of my part of the upcoming album roundup.
Anyway, let’s talk about Freddie Gibbs. The Gary, Indiana rapper has made a name for himself the past few years by dropping albums like ESGN, Shadow of a Doubt, You Only Live 2wice and of course, the collaborative album, Pinata with Madlib, and as we await for the inevitable follow-up, Bandana, Gibbs has been dropping some singles every other month or so, and then this happened:
OK. This was damn hilarious when I watched it the first time (and it still is on repeat viewings), but that promo had many of us thinking that Freddie would do something in the R&B direction with his renditions of “Between the Sheets” with “Bitch, Clean these Sheets” and “Tyrone” with “Whipping Dope with Tyrone”.
But yeah, he’s not going in that direction, and while I wish it did, was this project any good? Well, Freddie is 10 tracks and 25 minutes (another hip-hop album that’s under 30 minutes but this time not from a G.O.O.D. music artist or Nas), and we all know Gangsta Gibbs for that street shit, and just like Pusha T on that coke rap, the man knows how to do that proper, and Gibbs still nails it.
While you do get that street rap from Gibbs, it makes a good follow-up to his last project, You Only Live 2wice, where Gibbs speaks about him being falsely accused of sexual assault, thinking about his family and loved ones, how this trap life is meaningless to him, and how he returns to his hood and deals with that street life in general.
You are in for some bangers in here like the first two, “Weight” and “Automatic,” with the latter delivers on that heavy bass and Freddie’s compelling flow on the hook. “Death Row” pays homage to the infamous record label that brought us Tupac and Dre, and there’s an instance of Eazy-E inspiration with 03 Greedo doing his interpolation of Eazy’s “Boyz N The Hood.” “Toe Tag” has a menacing vibe, and I love “2 Legit” with that Mary J. Blige sample added in for that smooth soul feeling. To save some words, every track on here is a definite banger, whether they are smooth, wavy, bass-heavy, or to quote Feefo from Dead End Hip Hop, “It bumps in the whip.” There’s also the last track, “Diamonds 2,” where he talks about being on pills in order to stay focused on his game, featuring vocals from Cassie Jo Craig and some vocal harmonization from his daughter Irie Jane Gibbs. The credit for the majority of the beats goes to producers like Kenny Beats, RichGains, Dupri (not the one you’re thinking about,) and even Gibbs as his other alias Freddie Kane, and it’s that banging trap style with a lot of bass with some differences in there.
For those that wanted singing Freddie, you get a little bit of that in “FLFM (Interlude),” and it’s still as humorous as it was in that “informercial.” Now, you figured that these tracks would seem generic, but thankfully as I said before, the mixtape is only 10 tracks and clocks at 25 minutes as it knows when to get in and get out. If this would’ve been 20 to 40 more minutes, it would’ve been drag and gotten repetitive.
Once again, Freddie Gibbs delivers on wax, and while the subject matter is his usual bread and butter, he knows not to overstay his welcome on this mixtape, and this is definitely in the realm of Pusha T’s Daytona — a solid mixtape that’s under 30 minutes with no filler and choice cuts that you can listen to all day long. While I still wait on Bandana, this mixtape is definitely one not to miss.
FINAL VERDICT: Buy It. Gangsta Gibbs gives you what you want in a good amount of time.
Freddie is available on ESGN/Empire Distribution on CD, digital, vinyl and streaming.