Pitchfork reviews Freddie Gibbs' 'Shadow Of A Doubt'

Started by Ordinary Joel, Nov 20, 2015, in Music Add to Reading List

  1. Ordinary Joel
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    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Nov 20, 2015
    Article Source: Pitchfork - http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/21274-shadow-of-a-doubt/

    By Max Mertens; November 20, 2015

    Score: 7.8

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    Freddie Gibbs doesn’t believe on resting on his laurels. After dropping last year’s
    Piñata withMadlib at the helm — the rapper’s most commercially and critically successful project to date — he could have taken some well-deserved time off. Instead, he toured non-stop and playedfestivals, put out two EPs The Tonite Show with the Worlds Freshest and Pronto, and last but not least, became a father.

    Now with little advance notice, and a raised middle finger to Q4 release schedules and anyone foolish enough to be making their best-of year-end lists early, the pride of Gary, Ind. is back with his third full-length studio album. A quick scan of the credits reveals the biggest difference between Shadow of a Doubt and his last LP—instead of one singular producer, there’s over a dozen wide-ranging names contributing beats here from Canadian hitmaker Boi-1da to 808 Mafia’s Tarentino. While the final result is less cohesive, and could benefit from trimming two or three songs, there’s no denying Gibbs’ versatility.

    If there’s any question as to whether or not acclaim has mellowed the man who frequently refers to himself as both "Gangsta Gibbs" and "Freddie Corleone", look no further than the two tracks that bookend the record. The sparse, atmospheric "Rearview", which opens with a "Welcome to Los Angeles International Airport" P.A., sees the rapper offer up a bullet point summary of his career to date before dismissing would-be copycats with trademark precision. In contrast, "Cold a--- n-----" sees Gibbs with two feet on the gas, with frequent Kanye Westcollaborator Mike Dean providing a suitably urgent, glitchy trap beat. It’s nothing like anything else in Gibbs’ vast catalogue (its closest spiritual companion might be "Old English", his 2014 track with A$AP Ferg and Young Thug) and it’s proof that the 33 year old is still more than willing to push himself out of his sonic comfort zone.

    His lyrics capture the pursuit of the American dream like a Scorsese screenplay (drugs, sex, and all-too-frequent bloodshed included). He’s hardly the first artist to incorporate asample from "The Wire" into a song, but he’s one of few able to do so without it coming off cliché or rote (Boi-1da and Frank Dukes’ sinister piano loops greatly help). Another highlight is the understated, introspective "Insecurities" produced by Dukes and Montreal’sKaytranada (who teamed up with the rapper this year for the menacing one-off "My Dope House").

    As for the record’s handful of guest spots, Gibbs has picked a mix of newcomers and veterans who complement but never overshadow him. Rising Miami-via-Toronto emcee Tory Lanez contributes a bleary-eyed hook to dealers’ anthem "Mexico"; elsewhere, L.A. R&B singer-songwriter Dana Williams propels "McDuck". On "Extradite", the Roots’ Black Thought’s politically charged verse is sharply juxtaposed with Mikhail’s bright, jazz-influenced production, which eventually gives way to dialogue taken from a fiery speech on Ferguson by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Then there’s "10 Times", featuring Gucci Manefloating over the beat like plumes of blunt smoke (perhaps Gibbs’ own "Freddie Kane OG" strain), before West Coast veteran E-40 swoops in to gleefully extol the virtues of a woman "thicker than a buttermilk biscuit."

    On the outro of "McDuck", we hear an excerpt from an interview he did with Snoop Dogg this past summer discussing Gibbs’ background. "You just sound like you not from nowhere," says Snoop to which the rapper replies, "I created that sound." The cover artwork of Shadow of a Doubt might depict Gibbs’ face half-cloaked in darkness, but his roots and aspirations have never been clearer.
     
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  2. Bojack
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    Nov 20, 2015
    One of the few times that I agree :rejoice:
     
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  3. Charlie Work
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    Charlie Work Level 5 Goblin

    Nov 20, 2015
    Giving this a listen soon now that it is officially out. Hype.
     
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