Freddie Gibbs is from Gary, Indiana and recently had an adorable kid. He has also been gaining a lot of attention recently after his amazing collaborative album with hip hop producing legend Madlib on Pinata and his well-received EP earlier this year. However, Gibbs has been putting out content for years now, his past releases tend to be a more hard hitting style of gangsta rap, they were still solid projects.
The album starts with a LAX airplane terminal announcement on ‘Rearview’ and it sounds fitting on this album, as the album transports you into a different world. The lyrics on this record are very gritty, in your face, and mean but comes from this view of the world through a new father's eyes. Some songs feature a more soul searching Gibbs, talking about drug use and abuse, his daughter and reflects on his past in a candid way. Evident on the track ‘Freddie Gordy’ where he says “I hope my daughter never lives this type of lifestyle/Creeping under street lights as a night child” and “Plus I got addictions of my own, boy/The pills into laced blunts got me gone, boy/The Oxycontin and heavy syrup got me looking in the mirror saying, "Is you a dope fiend or a dope boy?"”. This album is like watching a Scorsese blockbuster but through the eyes of a man who has lived that sort of life and is now thinking back, questioning it. The lyrics are beautiful in their honesty and brutality. However on some tracks like the glitch trap song ‘Cold Ass Nigga’ produced by Mike Dean he seems to be too savage, and just doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the album.
The album is filled with hard hitting sub bass, rattling high hats, atmospheric trap music and fits perfectly with the lyrical content provided on this album, the perfect soundtrack to this gangster life. Also fitting into the tittle of the album and cover art.
Freddie is also signing on this album which is a big change. And he actually has a pretty good voice, nothing ground-breaking or anything but very listenable. It has character and Gibbs is able to keep good pitches and melodies. However on the track ‘Basketball Wives ’ he sings in this nasally tone, drowned by autotune repeating some, all be it, funny lines, one track I can’t listen through the whole way.
The features on this album are all great and are lumped together in the middle of the album a decision that helps with the flow and listenability of the album as a whole. The song ‘Extradite’ with Black Thought is easily one of the best features with a politically charged verse that only he could deliver, Gucci Mane also kills his verse on ’10 Times’. The two bonus tracks on the end of this album are also pretty nice; don’t add much but a few bonus tracks never hurt anyone.
If you plan on listening to any gangster rap album this year than this should definitely be it. This project is the best gangster album of the year. No one else can compete with Gibbs in this genre. And while a few low points bring the album down, overall it is a great release.
Written by Rhys Prka
Fav Tracks: Rearview, Careless, Fuckin’ Up The Count, Extradite, Mexico, Packages, 10 Times, Lately, Insecurities, Freddie Gordy
Least Fav: Basketball Wives
Release Date: 20th Nov