Freddie Gibbs - Freddie
"Don't judge a book by it's cover" is one of the oldest adages out there, but one that is the hardest to live by. I ran into that situation from rapper Freddie Gibbs' new album Freddie. On the cover it looks like you are in-store for some slick R&B, maybe hip hop inspired. However this is a trap record, plain and simple. There is no brightness, just sheer dread and drama from the very first moment. The album rolled out with a video signaling it's release that was 80s inspired with Freddie tapping away on a keyboard and a number flashing at the bottom to call. Gibbs produced the majority of this album as well giving it a very singular vision. That vision however is pure id: survival, sex and indulgence are all on display. Freddie wants to talk about how He has come up and where he is at now, but very little else. He must talk about "breaking up a brick" at least 500 times. His flow shifts very little save for a few double times on tracks like "Set Set" where things get a little more interesting. On "Toe Tag" we get some of the most basic one liners straight from the trap. This record is further proof that just because you include some trap drums that does not a great album make. The silencer gun shots, the ruminations on being in club and the celebration of drug culture all feels just a bit icky here. I've heard some good things about this record so I kept hoping it would engage into something legit, but it never does.
Before you know it this record ends, with little fanfare on the only track with any features "Diamonds 2". You may have been expecting the Freddie Gibbs who drops bars over Madlib's breakbeats, or the aggressive gangster version, the problem is you get some diluted version of both. The style and substance of this record just never square up, and you are left confused and put off from the very first moment. There are certainly nuggets of gold in Freddie's lyrics here, but with such a short album who is going to sit there and be preached at the whole time. Maybe if this album were written out like a book, where you could really study these lyrics you might find something interesting to take with you, but as it is this record feels hollow and entirely one note. Feel free to skip.
5.4 out of 10