Tag Archives: Freddie Gibbs

Back in 2008, a video popped up on youtube featuring a then unknown Lunice popping, locking and dropping (it) to a then relatively unknown Lazer Sword‘s “Gucci Sweatshirt”. The video became moderately popular at the time, making its way around various social circles and then fading into black like every other video from 2008 (except for this one). The song offered a sort of glitchy pre-amble to Lazer Sword’s later work, but is almost indistinguishable from Memory, the duo’s latest album. “Gucci Sweatshirt” was officially released in October of 2009 as the first release on Stones Throw employee Nate Nelson’s new imprint Innovative Leisure. Influenced by his time at Stones Throw and hardcore labels like SST and Dischord, Nelson set off to institute Innovative Leisure as a driving force in North American electronic music.

“Gucci Sweatshirt”‘s idiosyncratic mash of hip hop and off-kilter electro was a fitting start, launching Lazer Sword as a force to reckoned with. By the end of 2010, Innovative Leisure was firmly entrenched and had hosted releases from Mexicans With Guns, Hanni El Khatib, Nguzunguzu, Machinedrum and, strangely enough, Freddie Gibbs. In November of the same year, Lazer Sword released their debut self-titled LP through Innovative Leisure, pushing Low Limit and  Lando Kal into international stardom. The release also solidified Innovative Leisure as a bastion of the most dynamic forms of North American electronic music.

2011 was a relatively quiet year for Nelson’s label, but saw it expanding into new territories and laying out an impressively variegated roster. That was the year Innovative Leisure trotted out bluesy as fuck whiteboy Nick Waterhouse‘s “I Can Only Give You Everything”, arguably the label’s biggest release to date. The Huntington Beach-native brought a brand new dimension to Innovative Leisure, one grounded in Motown and Van Morrison, far from the club-oriented music the label had peddled to that point. Not that club-oriented music is bad of course, but Waterhouse’s signing distanced Innovative Leisure from the hundreds of internet labels out there and gave it a distinct home in Southern California.

Without getting it too much, the first 11 months of 2012 have been absolutely massive for Innovative Leisure, seeing the label break the ultra-hyped Rhye and release Nosaj Thing’s first originals since 2009’s Drift. In just three years, Nelson’s label has gone from relatively unknown club outlet to one of the West Coast’s most divergent, groundbreaking labels. As a sort of celebration (culmination?), the label enlisted Low Limit to compile tracks from Innovative Leisure artists and associates. The result is Ouroboros, a 10-track opus that is as good of an indicator of North American electronic music as any release you’ll hear all year.

If names like Clicks & Whistles, Braille, Anenon and Obey City get you wet (not to mention the aforementioned Low Limit and Machinedrum) then this compilation is for you. If you have no idea who any of the involved artists are or what they sound like, but want delve deeper into North American electronic music, this compilation is for you. If you’re at a party and don’t know what to play, but want people to think that you’re hip to the newest trends (because, you know, that’s all that matters), this compilation is for you. So yeah, give it a spin below and grab that hard wax from the Innovative Leisure website.

Freddie Gibbs has never been one to hold back from telling his tale, both in interviews and in his music. From his days robbing trains to his flawless post-being dropped from Interscope string of releases, the Gary, Indiana MC has been honest to the core. Keepin’ it real has been out of vogue for a while, but there isn’t a better way to describe Gangsta Gibbs. Baby Face Killa is Gibbs’ latest mixtape and includes a menagerie of guests new and old. DJ Drama probably chose a few of them, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although I can’t really imagine Gibbs working with Kirko Bangz without being cajoled into it. All Drama (see what I did there) aside, Spaceghostpurrp and Krayzie Bone trading paranoiac verses on “Kush Cloud”, Z-Ro assisting in some car fetish rap and Young Jeezy groveling certainly add a few extra dimensions to the tape. Of course, Gibbs doesn’t get drowned out by all of the gusts, managing to touch on everyman rap tropes, both new and old with unabated confidence. The hood is still fucked up and Gibbs still bangs, but now he’s doing it with a more diverse sound palette. What more can you ask for?

Download: Freddie Gibbs – Baby Face Killa

“Kush Cloud” is five minutes of paranoiac kush raps from three of hip hop’s stoner dons. It’s fun to gaze through the blunt smoke and into the annals of history to remember that the first Bone Thugs formed right around the time Spaceghostpurrp was birthed. Well daddy don’t you know that things go in cycles? Ostensibly this is a posse cut, but we all know that Freddie Gibbs puffs the tuffest. Krayzie Bone and Spaceghost (still a better producer than MC) play capable foils, but there isn’t another rapper who carries across that “always looking over the shoulder” paranoia as Gangsta Gibbs. Looking over his shoulder while rolling up another dutch of course. Stream “Kush Cloud” below and look out for Gibbs’ Baby Face Killa tape on September 25th.

Earlier this morning, I was lamenting the lack of quality hip hop releases over the past few weeks to a friend when I realized something. Despite the ASAP Mob tape largely flopping, the omnipresent fact that Lady Gaga will be on Kendrick Lamar’s album and a general glut of well, shitty hip hop, we just got a new Freddie Gibbs track with an album coming soon. Let me repeat: new Gangsta Gibbs. Rejoice. Coming correct over a glossy Feb.9 beat, Gibbs shows he doesn’t need Madlib’s exothermic backing (although a full length should problem happen sooner rather than later) and can coexist with a  vocalist like Dana Williams. Even if everything else goes to shit, at least we have Gangsta Gibbs. Stream and download below.

We weren’t around to tell you, but Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s “Thuggin” was the best hip hop song of 2011. Bar none. No fucks about it. Gangsta Gibbs’ honest as fuck, true to the-streets braggadocio mixes with the Beat Kondukta’s dusty, sativa saturated beats was a match made in heaven. The ensuing EP was short, but the promise of a second  EP coming Summer 2012 made hip hop heads more than a little wet. Summer 2012 is upon us and lo and behold, the Shame EP has arrived on our doorsteps. More of a teaser than anything, Shame contains two new Gibbs/Madlib tracks along with their instrumentals/acapellas, plus two bonus beats. The two new tracks are more than enough to satiate our needs though. The title track takes Gibbs away from the streets and into the bedroom. Lib creates the perfect soul-sampling bed for Gibbs to wax poetic about his “bottom bitch” and BJ The Chicago Kid sounds smooth as hell on the hook. Best line: “Like I stepped on a banana peel then fell in that pussy/You all be spending your narcotics skrill to get in that pussy”. Gibbs got jokes. At only 1:11 long, “Terrorist” is even more of a teaser, but seeing Gibbs going stream of consciousness over another silky backdrop is still a treat. Head over to Stones throw to cop the vinyl or the MP3’s and stream “Shame” below. Most importantly, the EP release comes with news that the two are gearing up for an LP release “third quarter 2012”. That is very, very soon. Jammin!