Tag Archives: Freddie Gibbs


Young Thug, Freddie Gibbs, & A$AP Ferg – Old English

I didn’t realize that this should have been a series when I first wrote this post, so I’m going back through now and adding tags to all the posts that have videos like this so you can see them all in one place.  There are a bunch and they’re all good.  Just click “Watch What I Say” in the sidebar or in the “SERIES” section at the top of the page and check out all the others, and I’ll keep adding more as I find ’em.

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Wow I guess this is pretty old but it’s only just now crossing my path, probably because it’s doesn’t appear on any of his mixtapes.

Big K.R.I.T. – Somedayz

I think this might be the first time I’ve seen a rap video that takes place in the back of a moving pickup truck.  This also might be the first time I’ve heard K.R.I.T. rap over a beat he didn’t produce.  How do I know he didn’t produce it?  A couple reasons, first of all because it’s also on this mixtape that was at least a couple years before K.R.I.T.’s first big one.

Freddi Gibbs – How We Do

And in case that’s not enough evidence to convince you that this isn’t K.R.I.T.’s beat, here’s where the beat originated: in a song from when he was 7 years old.

Souls of Mischief – 93 ‘Til Infinity

If you’re like me though and need to know the deepest origins, they actually start coincidentally the same year that 3 of the 4 members of Souls of Mischief were born, 1974.

Billy Cobham – Heather

I know that one’s kinda subtle, but listen close a little after the 2:00 mark and you’ll hear it.  The sax part is from a little later, after the 3:15 mark or so.

I like ones like this that touch every part of the map.  You’ve got the original, which was recorded at Electric Lady in New York City, then sampled 20 years later by some kids all the way across the country in Oakland, and then picked up almost 20 more years after that by young rappers from Gary, Indiana and Meridian, Mississippi.  The dopeness lives on.

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Freddie Gibbs has a real knack for teaming up with really unexpected people and making it sound unquestionably good.  It’s been that way from the beginning;  when Matt first turned me on to Midwestgangstaboxframecadicallmuzik and The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs, some of the first songs I got really into of his were the couple tracks he did with Devin the Dude, a rapper from a very different place with a very different aesthetic, mood, and style than what Freddie is most comfortable doing.

Freddie Gibbs – Something You Should Know (feat. Devin the Dude)

Freddie Gibbs – Stray (feat. Devin the Dude)

Then after signing to Young Jeezy‘s label, a much more obvious pairing, out of nowhere he starts releasing songs with Madlib, another dude from an even more dissimilar place, background and style.  But once again, the pairing worked out surprisingly nice.  Maybe he can just make great songs with anyone as long as they love weed as much as he does.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Thuggin’

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Shame

Now Freddie is officially leaving Jeezy’s CTE label and some of his most recent work has been with LA’s flagship Ratchet artist YG, another dude who I never imagined I’d hear rapping alongside Freddie’s rapid-fire midwest syncopation, but once again, I find myself quite impressed by how well these styles comingle.

Freddie Gibbs – Every City (feat. YG)

Lil’ Sodi – Do It (feat. Freddie Gibbs & YG)

 Now we just need to wait for the Freddie Gibbs / Lil’ B collaboration that’ll just blow everyone’s mind.

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Rap producers constantly amaze me with how much they can do with so little.  I remember in music school, professors always professed that “economy of materials” was one of the most admirable traits of a good composition.  In western classical music, it’s important to constantly develop and vary these basic materials, but the core of the idea is starting with something very minute and creating a constantly interesting piece of music from those ultra-simple materials.  Hip-hop producers aren’t generally interested in development in the classical sense, but they definitely share a respect for starting out with an extremely limited set of materials and creating a constantly engaging, interesting composition with it.  Those professors mentioned above would probably look down on music that didn’t vary and develop those ideas in the course of the composition, but to me, finding a tiny piece of musical material that you can just loop over and over again and it still is interesting four minutes in — that’s just as impressive in my mind.

Here’s what got me thinkin’ about this idea, I heard this song today and it reminded me of a couple other songs that I love that use the same kind of single-guitar-note-repeated-constantly technique to great effect.

The Alchemist – Flight Confirmation (feat. Danny Brown & Schoolboy Q)

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Thuggin’

Jaylib – The Red

There’s such an unshakable determination in beats like these, that single unrelenting note just drills into your very being, getting deeper and deeper in your brain the more you listen.  There’s a trance-like quality to tunes like these, and I’m constantly amazed that these dudes can make such an absurdly simple musical figure so captivating for a full song.  Let me know of any other songs with the same shit goin’ on, I love these kinda beats.

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Those of you that are on the REDLiteDJ email list (just send an email to REDLiteDJ@gmail.com to join!) already heard that I joined Twitter a couple days ago.  I have to say that so far, it’s been a very positive experience.  I’m reconnecting with some people I haven’t talked to in a while, and I’m connecting on a new level to people I see regularly as well.  Awesome.

The other cool thing that’s happening is that I’m getting nice little updates from artists I’m interested in, especially those that don’t get much press buzz around them every time they do anything.  For instance, I started following DâM-FunK, and I quickly learned that he has a Tumblr page that he runs called Galactic Funk Federation, and on that page I found this crazy little 4 song mix that some dude named Damon Swindell made where he took some DâM-FunK instrumentals and put some Gucci Mane acapellas over the top.  It’s called Gucci Funk, and it’s free, so I snatched it up and listened to it immediately.

The only real complaints that I have are that he uses censored acapellas (probably that’s all that was available, but it’s still kind of a bummer to listen to Gucci Mane without cursing) and the way the vocals sound doesn’t particularly blend with how the beats sound (only in a mixing capacity, and most likely that’s just how the acapellas he was using sounded to begin with, I’m not talkin’ shit on the man’s work).  But the rhythm of Gucci’s flow works pretty well over some real synthy, west-coast style funk, so it was still a very nice listen.  My favorite is probably this one, where he mixes Gucci Mane & Shawnna‘s “Pillz” with DâM-FunK’s “10 West“.

I wish more really dissimilar artists would collaborate on stuff like this.  I know Gucci and DâM didn’t actually get together to do this, it was mixed by a third party, but I think this proves that there’s some definite potential for the meeting of these two dudes’ styles.  I feel like artists get pigeonholed by their labels, fans, and probably themselves at times into this subgenre or that, but I feel like there are constant reminders that dudes and ladies from different zones can really get together to do some cool shit if they put their minds to it.  I remember first hearing about the Freddie Gibbs/Madlib team-up that’s happening right now and thinking “Whoa, I have no idea what this is going to sound like, but I know it’s gonna be awesome”, and so far it is.  Another good example is the cLOUDLIFE EP that came out recently with members of cLOUDDEAD and Main Attrakionz.  That shit came out of nowhere, to me at least.

I feel like it might even be pretty marketable too, I could see some Gucci Mane fans really warming up to DâM-FunK’s style if they got introduced to it through a collaboration between the two, and vice versa.  What do I know though?  Maybe it’s easier to sell records if people stay in their own lanes, I don’t pretend to be an expert on how to make money with music.  But I do know a thing or two about what sounds badass, and in that spirit, I’m gonna continue to be on the lookout for cool, unexpected collaborations in the future.  Let me know in the comments if you know of any that I didn’t mention.

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I didn’t come back to California with many souvenirs, but I can never resist picking up a few bargain bin records when I come across them.  I snagged up a copy of Peter Tosh‘s Legalize It that turned out to be too warped to play except for the inner bands of each side (that one was free), and the other one was this, which I would have bought based on the cover alone, even if I had no idea who Minnie Ripperton was.

Minnie Ripperton – Inside My Love

I had some time to just sit back and listen to this record the other day and I was really feelin’ it, and then that break a little after the 3:00 mark came in and I got that aural double-take brain zap that I’m all too familiar with at this point.  This one was especially interesting because I could immediately think of two places where that almost identical sample were used, but I never put together that both of those songs came from the same place until I heard the original.

Busta Rhymes – You Can’t Hold the Torch (feat. Q-Tip)

Electric Wire Hustle – Perception

God I just want to be that bassline in “Perception”, I could just listen to that forever.  I’ve listened to both of these songs so many times, and yes, that Electric Wire Hustle track has the sample playing backwards, but it still seems super obvious now that I’ve heard where they came from.  I also never guessed that the super high-pitched sound that sustains almost all the way through both of these songs is actually Minnie Ripperton’s vocal, she can definitely hit them high notes.

A little deeper digging uncovered a wealth of songs that share this same inspiration as well.  Everybody from Freddie Gibbs to Aaliyah to A Tribe Called Quest to Pharcyde to Killah Priest to 2Pac to Slum Village has used this same little snippet.  Kind of amazing.  I had no idea I was picking up such a significant piece of rap history when I dropped that $0.99 at the Goodwill in Sausalito.  Crazy.

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That’s a pretty perfect way to describe Freddie Gibbs, if you ask me.  I drove up to T-Town today to go hang out with my dad for a few days around Christmas, and on the way I finally got around to listening to Gibbs’s newest mixtape Cold Day In Hell all the way through.  It was definitely worth it.  I’ve been a huge fan of his since Matt first turned me on to Midwestgangstaboxframecadillacmuzik and The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs a couple years back, and I’m really happy to see that he’s got himself a solid record deal now and is getting more and more attention all the time.  And he’s not lost a bit of his integrity either, he’s stayed very true to his style this whole time, and I was happy to hear even more evidence of that on Cold Day in Hell.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble, what I wanted to hit you all with was this little connection I noticed when I was listening to that mixtape.  The third song on there has a title that I was already familiar with from a much earlier tune: “187 Proof”.  Maybe that’s a common term that gets used all the time, and I’m just too ignorant to not know about more than two instances, but here’s what I’ve got to offer.

Freddie Gibbs – 187 Proof

Spice 1 – 187 Proof

I’m in love with that Spice 1 video, and I also really like the slightly different meaning these two dudes ascribe to the term “187 Proof”: Freddie is asserting that he is immune to being murdered (187 is a common police code for homicide), but Spice has a whole running play on words throughout the song using names of different boozy drinks as names for characters in the story he’s spinning, so the “187 proof” for him is an extension of that wordplay (referencing the way of measuring alcohol content of liquor in “proof”).  Pretty cool.

Here’s a little bonus too.  That first line of the Spice 1 “187 Proof” gets referenced in the intro to an E-40 song a few years later, pretty hilariously.  The only video I could find that included that intro is this one, which also includes the entire song before it.  So the part I’m talking about doesn’t come in until 1:49.  But you should probably just go ahead and listen to the whole thing, you can’t really listen to too much E-40 I don’t think.

E-40 – Da Bumble

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