Okay here is how crazy 2015 is, if you still haven't gotten it from the last five posts I did that had some sort of theme of "2015 is really crazy!!": Freddie Gibbs, who rapped over Pinata, which I said was my 7th favorite album of last year, put out a three track EP and I like... barely noticed. Well, I downloaded it, and listened to it once, and thought "okay that was good" and then went back to one of the like, five LPs that have already totally enamored me in 2015. But having heard a friend's praises, I revisited this little EP, and wow, I can completely see where he's coming from.
The beginning has this awesome sense of being suspended in air and slowly rotating around Gibbs as he quietly warms himself up. I think rapper's pre-track ad-libs to get on beat are sometimes my favorite aspect of the whole genre, especially when they snap hard right after... it reminds me of Armada's famous "meditated 4 stocks". Freddie's flows are definitely 4-stock tier. The beat is tight and trappy, a major shift from Madlib's production, reminding us that - despite sounding so good on them - that sort of beat wasn't his specialty, his limit... he can body basically any beat with any sort of flow. The way his rhythm shifts from bar to bar is incredible... just by repositioning his punctuatory "yeahs" and such, he can organically restructure his whole flow. The structure of the song is such that every part sounds like the hook, every part would be the catchiest part of any other song, and he indulges in this, breaking off every few lines into it's own little system of repetition and reference. My favorite is when he drops a bunch of lines rhyming with "pronto", and you know from the title that he's gonna say "pronto", and you're just waiting for it... that level of anticipation.
And oh god the lyrics are thugged out super hard, like, Gibbs might be the realest sounding person out there right now (or at least up there with guys like gang-terminator Montana of 300). And yet he shouts out Toronto! Omg we're really out there!! "We don't got no convo with 5-0" just feels like the most badass way that that common idea has been expressed, same with "When we comin through we leavin bodies on the news/Channel seven, channel five, nigga"... I think there's some level on which you can express an aesthetic more meaningfully just through having the right sounding words. It is something that is amazing to see with such natural mastery.