I’d struggle to name an emcee who mastered the craft the way Freddie Gibbs has in the past year.
Working in the afterglow of whipping up Piñata with beat konducta Madlib, Gibbs has been trampling every project thrown his way. At first I was worried. Writing to the beats of a legendary producer undoubtedly has some “Midas Touch” effect. The concern Gibbs would slightly decline was legitimate, but fortunately for everyone it was nowhere near reality.
On “F***in’ Up The Count” Gibbs flips a flow, melodic without sacrificing any grit, over a beat fitted with references to The Wire. This makes for a perfect sonic backdrop to the visuals, following an honest portrayal of youths chasing drug money. Gibbs’s choice to have kids working out his trap is definitely not an over-dramatization, rather a harsh reality too many “gangster rappers” avoid. There’s nothing pretty about children turned to killers by the systems they live in, and Gibbs is still a witness in Hip Hop to those truths.
Artists and fans throw around the term “hood journalist” too freely. It’s a position closer to a burden or duty, not a badge to flex. I think Gibbs carries that yolk, making it out of Gary, Indiana with an obligation to spread a lost reality. He does it well, as a skilled emcee and brilliant artist, with the talent to shift the waves of the genre.
Check out the tracklist and F*ckin’ Up The Count on iTunes
Art by your homie Arthur Banach
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