Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Thuggin’ (Track Review)


Two of my favorites have met up. I can’t say it’s a collaboration I’ve been expecting or even one that I realized I wanted, but I’m glad it happened anyway. Freddie Gibbs, who appeared on my second favorite album of last year “Oneirology” by Cunninlynguists, meets up with Madlib the production wizard. The song is part of an EP of the same name that came out last November. The video came out more recently and really there isn’t anything about it that stands out besides an AK47 with an insanely huge banana clip and an insanely hot girl with an insanely nice ass. What I like about it, though, is that Gibbs walks up to a microphone in what looks to be his apartment in the last moments of the video– only after he’s robbed drug dealers, dealt drugs, and cooked drugs. This puts an emphasis on the point Gibbs is trying to make with this song which is that despite all the projects he’s worked on, songs and mixtapes he’s put out, and critical acclaim he’s received, the rap game is not what comes first for him. The street game and “thuggin'” is his main priority right now. The line “Might move away one day but I’m always gonna belong to the streets” sums that up nicely. It’s songs like these that are the reason I like Gibbs so much: His lyrics aren’t very cryptic or even clever, but they’re real. When you put on a Freddie Gibbs song you know you’re in for a three minute story of what his life is like on the streets and he always does a great job of trying to make you see what he sees. Now let’s talk about the beat, because Madlib nailed it on this one. Earlier I said I didn’t realize that I wanted these two to collaborate and that’s because they seem so different. Madlib and MF Doom is an obvious fit because they are both so weird and unorthodox. Gibbs, on the other hand, is a pure gangster which made me afraid that Madlib’s production might not fit with the darkness and weight behind Gibbs and what he says in his music. Well, allow me to spoil the ending for you: It fits. Madlib lays down an atmospheric beat that is not focused around the bass or drum beat (which is nearly inaudible), but instead around a twangy, melancholy guitar part. In the hands of another producer this song could have and probably would have been done in a completely different way, but in making the beat so beautiful, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs have created something to marvel at. I know Freddie Gibbs doesn’t give a fuck about my feedback he’s going to get it anyway: I love it to death. Gibbs has a shitload of material out but has yet to make a full, official album. Don’t worry though, rumors are spreading that say his first album should be out in 2012. I look forward to it.

Overall: 9/10

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