Freddie Gibbs is from Gary, Indiana, so was the Jackson Family. When I first heard Gibbs, he was in the business of constantly referring to his Gary roots despite his displacement to the City of Angels. I wondered if he was in a perpetual state of internal strife, battling the unrealistic bar that had been set by the Jackson clan decades ago. I pictured him bumping MJ in his ipod holding a sign saying “Hollywood or Bust” at the local Greyhound station in Gary. Then of course I got swept away by his music, for the record, I deem him to be the most underrated rapper (currently unsigned) with major label appeal out there. His smooth voice is paralleled by his effortless flow pattern which is laced with precision lyrical content. I’ve said this before, but Freddie Gibbs is the quintessential “your rapper’s favorite rapper”, he’s so on point, you’ll forget that he came from a small town in the Midwest famous for birthing Michael Jackson….until now…
Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, Kendrick Lamar and Open Mike Eagle are all major players currently putting it on for the City of Angels. There is no denying that L.A. is back on the hip hop map, what was once a place to market and record is now a hotbed for breeding artists that are leaving an impression on the game. Though the aforementioned artists are starkly different in sound and content, there’s a serious commitment to crisp production, a fundamental element to keeping ears bent. Jansport J is another reason L.A. hip hop fans can wear a prideful smile. The West Covina beatsmith is a true underground talent, though this new project, Sport Did It Tho Vol. 1. is bound to elevate his status as a go to guy in beat shopping. Jansport J’s production is a wonderful hybrid of old school appreciation and youthful rhythm that undoubtedly can provide a soundtrack to any Cali block party. The sample heavy production is laced with hardened beats that emcees must salivate to jump on. He worked primarily with local artists, including the likes of LAUSD, El Prez, and the transplanted Freddie Gibbs. Here’s a couple of our favorite tracks:
The primary component of a good music video is a good track. Like this Freddie Gibbs joint, clearly Decon Records didn’t shell out much dough for this shoot, to be frank, aesthetically this video is just asking to be ignored on YouTube. But this is a track off Str8 Killa, a street EP that Freddie just dropped, and that’s significant. See, the thing is, Freddie Gibbs is on an absolute tear, a climatic rise to stardom via a spitting streak that we haven’t seen out of the Midwest since….[cue crickets]. The Gary, Indiana, native, Los Angeles, California, transplant, has established himself as a blogger favorite and a hipster delicacy, he’s defining himself. So spare the criticism about the measly budget for the video, and focus on the fact that this kid is hitting home runs right now. Think of it like Albert Belle, another slugger out of the Midwest, would you dare pass judgement on his bat after he hit a home run? Or just enjoy the damn humdinger? Eeek, bad example.
Usually when I see the term “Rap Supergroup” my first thought is that the gas-tanks that propel certain rappers’ careers are running low and hence they’ve decided to pool all of their remaining gasoline and see if it’s enough to get them into the next town of people giving an eff. However, Bun B. confirmed that he, Freddie Gibbs Chuck Inglish and Chip tha Ripper are going to be linking minds. This is a little different. Each of these dudes still has a good amount of fire to offer on their own: Bun B. remains one of the most technically sound rappers of all time. Freddie Gibbs is on the man-possessed-I’m-going-to-drop-free-ish-with-reckless-abandon tip. Chip tha Ripper has some ridiculousl yet, efficient sexed out rhymes and Chuck, while we may think he’s tame because of his Cool Kids days, has been dropping chunky, synth powered beats all over that ass. And hence I think this squad is going to have some Wu-Tang-esque chambers. But even Bun cringed at the term “Supergroup.”
Freddie Gibbs feat. Bun B. Chip tha Ripper & Chuck Inglish-“Oil Money”
Freddie Gibbs & Bun B. Watch out for Freddie this year, it’s a given that he’s going to be a top 5 rapper of 2010. Trust me, he has a killer combination of gruff tone and impressionable content, much like a smooth Cuban cigar, or chica.
Today being Christmas, I suppose it’s a little late to share this holiday activity with you. However, maybe when returning nose-hair trimmers, you can put this into practice:
While some say this happened already, I really feel like 2009 was the year where mixtapes really did surpass their more formal cousins, albums, in terms of quality. One highly respected music writer dubbed Los Angeles-by-way-of-Indiana rapper, Freddie Gibbs the only rapper that he would place money on, at this juncture. (I’m assuming) This must be a claim formed after listening to one of Gibbs’ mixtapes.
This holiday season, in the demoralizing onslaught that occurs at malls, I downloaded several mixtapes and found that bumping these gritty renditions of past cuts is a fantastic way to both block out the crazy materially-obsessed ish around you, as well as hear some whippersnappers at their rawest and finest.
Below are two of my favorite mixtapes of the year: