Might move away one day but I’m always gonna belong to these streets
What happens when you put one of the hardest rappers in the game, with one of the most unconventional yet talented producers around? You get MadGibbs. With the release of “Thuggin’” and “Shame”, rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib introduced the world to the one of the most intriguing musical collaborations in recent memory.
“Thuggin’” is a vivid depiction of the rough lifestyle Freddie Gibbs leads. Madlib provides Gibbs with a masterful beat; so vivid it oozes an aura of grime and thug living. Gibbs raps an intricate and realistic portrait of his criminal turned rapper lifestyle. Gibbs holds nothing back from the listener; he describes how his hustle through any and all available means pushed him to the place he is today. The video for “Thuggin’” graphically depicts the same raw life Gibbs raps about. Director Jonah Schwartz created an astoundingly real video; footage of gunpoint robberies and coke being cooked down only add to Gibbs’ street masterpiece. Instead of greatly exaggerating the decadence of a gangster lifestyle, all of the behavior in “Thuggin’” seems extremely real and oddly credible. The brutal depiction of this lifestyle only adds to Freddie Gibbs’ rough image.
“Shame” is equally as impressive as “Thuggin’”. This time, Madlib and Gibbs link up to depict Gibbs’ suave way with the ladies. Madlib works his magic again and chops some sexy 70’s soul into a rough, gutter beat. Gibbs displays his lyrical agility again, spitting about women and the nature of relationships. Gibbs the perks of being able to pull girls with ease and how these same girls shouldn’t be mad at his methods – it’s just his lifestyle. In other words, don’t hate the player; hate the game. Again, Jonah Schwartz creates another terrifyingly real video. The video depicts rampant drug use and illegal activities, yet somehow Schwartz makes the actions seem beautiful. He juxtaposes the shame of dealing drugs and sleeping with multitudes of women, with the pleasure these actions bring. Gibbs is often seen with a slim smile, happy for his role in this lifestyle, while the women he romances are remorseful of their actions. Even in the climactic scene where Gibbs is confronted for his player ways, he still does not appear slighted. Despite the craziness of the “Thuggin” lifestyle, Gibbs again comes off shockingly authentic in the video, as if the footage was just documenting his everyday life. That’s the appeal of Freddie Gibbs – his music and persona aren’t a show, he’s just rapping about his life in a captivating manner.
If you like what you hear from Freddie, follow him on twitter check out his latest mixtape #BFK (reviewed here) or his dope collab with Statik Selektah, Lord Givith Lord, Taketh Away. If more of Madlib’s musical genius is what you desire, check Champion Sound, a project with J Dilla (RIP), and Madvillainy, with MF DOOM.