Tuesday, May 26, 2009
INBOXication: Freddie Gibbs
When I saw the homies over at The Smoking Section bigging up Gary, Indiana lyricist Freddie Gibbs over the last couple of weeks, I'll be honest, I never got around to listening to everything they posted. Hell, he even had a couple songs with Devin the Dude that I didn't click on immediately. Sorry, its just so much damn music out there. Add that to the umpteen other things I distract myself with on the internet as well as a temperamental computer, me clicking on any of Mr. Gibbs' music in a timely fashion was not very promising.
After while though, I had to realize that judging from as much as I talk to the homies Gotty and TC, and my interactions with the crew and community over there, that they would never co-sign no bullshit. So, I finally clicked on one of their Freddie Gibbs links and...
I instantly became a fan of this dude's music. So much that not only did I download his The Miseduation of Freddie Gibbs mixtape and listen to damn near each song at least twice before moving on to the next one, I scoured YouTube looking for some of his older tracks and I can't say that I was disappointed at all.
After doing some more digging around I saw that he was signed to Interscope 2-3 years ago. Of course we all know that label is a place where they just throw a bunch of pictures on the wall and rolls with what sticks. So needless to say, Freddie didn't stick, but ever since, dude has been on a mission to get his music out there and put his city on the map.
The above song, "From the G" is the first thing I saw and I was won over just 1/4 into the song. Crazy, about a week or so ago I remember reading Mistah F.A.B. tweeting about how artists, especially ones from Oakland, shouldn't try remaking 2Pac songs. Well, Gibbs isn't from the O so I guess he gets a pass on that. But I feel where Fab is coming from. Especially after the Ja Rule's and Master P's of the world have made such mockeries out of 'Pac's music. But, Freddie did his damn thing on the "Bury Me A G" beat. Hell (ducks chairs) he might have ripped it better than at least two of the Thug Life cats that were on the original.
Of course with any up and coming artist, they're going to be compared to someone before them. Not necessarily because of any glaring similarities, but just as a frame of reference. With Gibbs, he reminds me of Z-Ro (which will remind you of 'Pac by default), except he's not as emotional or mean. That's not to say that you can't hear struggle, pain or emotion in his music though, because theirs plenty of it in there.
"Neverending Cycle" (prod. by JR Rotem)
Another thing that sticks out to me about Gibbs is how he is able to speak from the perspective of someone trapped in a miserable environment who is trying to survive, but at the same time tell you why its miserable beyond just coming with a "shit fucked up, it is what it is" type mentality in his approach.
"G.I. Pride" (prod. by Just Blaze)
He also shows that even when you're talking about the "hood" you can still make it jam and talk about regular shit outside of busting every gun and banging every broad.
"In My Hood" (prod. by JR Rotem)
At the end of the day, the thing that impressed me most about Gibbs was his delivery. Being that he's from Gary (which is to Chicago what Missouri City is to Houston, meaning its pretty much the part of town that the city cops don't bother coming to) he has that Midwest patented Snipe style embedded in his flow. But, he doesn't rely on it to a fault like Do or Die and Twista did and do at times. Instead, Gibbs just slows it down and freaks it depending on what beat he's on. Example, his nimble (and focused) wordplay over Big L's "Flamboyant" beat.
Even though the song is about heartbreak, he also snaps on this old Souls of Mischief too.
"How We Do (93 To Infinity freestyle)"
Of course, no emcee is complete without being able to tell stories and Gibbs does that well. On "Queen" he goes in similar to how Nas did on "Undying Love" except here he captures lighting in a bottle and makes you feel like you are the character in the story.
But yeah, I don't want to mess around the whole damn mixtape, I want to leave something for you to listen to on your own. I walked away with a sense that Freddie reps for the dudes in the hood who have common sense and believe in themselves enough to make it out of tough situations, but just still get caught up from time to time. Hense the appropriately borrowed "miseducation" theme with GD and VL signs placed around him. But yeah, if you are a fan of Dayton Family, Z-Ro and just some reality based G-shit in general, you will dig Freddie Gibbs. If you are a fan of swift deliveries and focused lyricism, you will dig Freddie Gibbs. Matter fact, if you come around these parts often and dig the most of the music that I share here, you'll dig Freddie Gibbs. I spoke with him briefly and he insisted that this mixtape is just a taste of what he has to offer.
DOWNLOAD: Freddie Gibbs-The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs
BONUS: Here's some of his older stuff that I found and enjoyed on YouTube
"Live From Gary"