When one peruses the early efforts of Freddie Gibbs - real name Fredrick Tipton - it’s clear that not even the man himself thought he would escape the drug pushing game in Gary, Indiana through his verses - but damn, aren’t we glad he did?
Gibbs’ trajectory has set himself at the table of some of the greatest and most respected rappers of our time. His 2009 album The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs was a full-blown release of everything he’d created up until 2009 and reveals relevance today with pieces such as “Never Ending Cycle” that peers into systemic oppression and police violence. Gibbs’s first commercially available EP Str8 Killa, released in 2010, yields a power that also still resonates today. Illustrious and relevant tracks expand on his Midwestern upbringing in the streets and the endeavors to utilize his gruff gift of gab are eloquently depicted in “National Anthem (Fuck The World)” : “Mama can’t sleep cause I’m way to deep in the streets / She would pray through the night / Every rhyme that I spit’s real shit / Cause its just another day in my life”.
Throughout his decade-long discography, Gibbs teams up with an array of artists like BJ the Chicago Kid, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Pusha T, Killer Mike, and E-40 to name a few. A harmonious collaboration has stuck between Gibbs and critically acclaimed hip-hop producer Madlib. Among their multiple projects, the most striking is the 2019 release of Bandana that even has a warning in the first tracks that the sounds we’re about to hear will be devastating to our ears.
His current release, Alfredo, is the second project with renowned producer, The Alchemist (who is also the official DJ for Eminem) and good God, it is captivating. We’ll let you listen for yourself and get wrapped up in the melting pot of elements the duo introduces. One thing to takeaway, Gibbs’s flow is unmatched and he will be put down in history as one of the best rappers of our generation.
“Never ever been on my level/Fuck with Fred you face to face with the devil”.
- Written by Milena DiFiore