Standard gatefold edition of the double LP on ESGN/Empire. Pre-order for July 19 ship date.
Shadow of a Doubt is the album Gibbs following Piñata, his collaboration with Madlib. He describes Shadow of a Doubt as the soundtrack to driving around Los Angeles at night – the dark side of a supposed glamorous life, one foot in the booth, one foot in the street. Pitchfork writes “his roots and aspirations have never been clearer” and praised Gibbs’ versatility. This album taps some of today’s top talent as guest MC’s and as producers with features from E-40, Gucci Mane, Black Thought, Tory Lanez, Manman Savage and Dana Williams, with production from Kaytranda, Boi-1Da, 808 Mafia.
In May 2016, a white label edition of Shadow of a Doubt (Rappcats exclusive) sold out in three hours. These were limited to 300 hand-numbered copies, with photo by Ture Lillegraven, jacket design by Jeff Jank.
You may have heard something about Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Bandana. While the reports of its imminent release maybeexaggerated, it is true that Gangster Gibbs & Beat Konducta have begun talking about, and maybe even working on, a followup to Piñata. Bandana was first referenced by Madlib in his talk at Red Bull Music Academy in New York, May 2016. Expect more news about the record some time later in 2016, or 2020, or somewhere in between.
Rappcats exclusive: 12-inch single, now shipping. “Cocaine Parties In L.A.” b/w “Cocaine Parties In L.A. (Instrumental)”
“Cocaine Parties In L.A.” is produced by Madlib with lyrics/vocals by Freddie Gibbs. All sleeves are screen-printed by hand, one-of-a-kind – 10 variations in all, but each slightly different. Illustration by Gustavo Eandi, design by Jeff Jank, screened by Hit N Run.
Following up Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Pinata – this EP contains exclusive tracks not available on the album. “Knicks,” in remixed form, now features a new verse by Gibbs alongside Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$ and Ransom. The b-side, “Home,” features BJ The Chicago Kid – the velvet voiced vocalist from the duo’s earlier “Shame” – and Madlib’s two-part soul-flip carries Gibb’s narrative about a traveling man’s disregard for his woman at home. Both sides are completed by previously unheard Madlib instrumentals.
Look for another Pinata Alert in LA & NYC when we have vinyl.
A1. Knicks Remix feat. Action Bronson, Joey Bada$$, Ransom
A2. Knicks Remix (Instrumental)
A3. The Dunk (Bonus Beat)
B1. Home ft. BJ The Chicago Kid
B2. Home (Instrumental)
B3. The Garden (Bonus Beat)
Freddie photo by Peter Beste, group photo by Lord Such.
Freddie Gibbs is the product of violent, drug-laden streets, but unlike most rappers with similar resumes, he brings the block to the booth without inhibition or an exaggerated rap persona. Pinata, a 17-track collaboration with producer Madlib, is the best distillation yet of his transparent approach to making music, combining stark honesty with electrifying talent as a lyricist and performer.
Pinata is “a gangster Blaxploitation film on wax,” Gibbs says, and the full-length result of a process that began in 2009. It’s an album with a sound that couldn’t be any further from the radio, where, according to the Gibbs, every rapper is Superman, or the dope dealer of the century, who has grinded to the top, never made a mistake and has no chinks in his armor.
“I will show you my flaws, I’ll show you what I’ve done wrong and what I’ve fucked up at,” says the native of Gary, Indiana, the former steel town best known for producing Michael Jackson. “I don’t regret shit, but I’ll show you the things I’m not proud of.”
Gibbs is joined on Pinata by Mac Miller, Earl Sweatshirt, Raekwon, Scarface, Domo Genesis, Ab-Soul and a host of others in setting his soliloquies of the streets alongside film snippets and dusted funk, soul and prog musical tapestries. While this is the latest in a series of single-artist collaborations for Madlib, after Jaylib (J Dilla), Madvillainy (MF Doom) and the street-centric O.J. Simpson with Detroit’s Guilty Simpson, the pairing is unique as it is the first time for Gibbs working with just one producer.
There’s also Madlib’s own self-awareness of his style as a producer. “My stuff, it ain’t fully quantized…it has more of a human feel, so it might slow down or speed up,” he says. “So you have to be the type of rapper, like Doom or Freddie, who can catch that, or else you’ll be sounding crazy.”
Gibbs admits it was a challenge rapping over beats with chops and changes as unpredictable as the man who created them, but says–with conviction and supreme confidence–“I think I did it to perfection.”
The perfection is apparent on the album, where Gibbs shifts from textbook lessons in robbing and drugging on tracks like “Scarface” and “Knicks,” to perhaps the album’s most personal song, “Broken,” a collaboration with Scarface, who, along with Tupac, DMX and 50 Cent, make up the rapper’s own Mount Rushmore of MCs (“You’re getting a hurricane of all those motherfuckers hitting you at once when you listen to Freddie Gibbs,” he says). “Deeper,” a Gibbs favorite and the third single from the album after “Thuggin’” (2012) and “Shame,” (2013) is an ode to hip-hop in the mold of Common’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.”; “High,” featuring Danny Brown, is self-explanatory and just what you would expect from Gibbs, Madlib and one of Detroit’s finest; while on “Real,” Gibbs addresses an old score just as Michael Corleone settled all family business on baptism day.
It’s tracks like “Real” that makes fans believe Gibbs’ claim that “I’m about to show niggas how to rap again.” And he’s just as loyal. “As long as I keep satisfying them,” he says, “everybody else is going to fall in line.
As a producer, Madlib, quite simply, is music, and ten years into his career–a time when other artists become comfortable–Gibbs remains restless, focused, with an eye on the competition and their position relative to his ascent. This is because mentally, he’s still on the corner hustling, which would be the downfall of the average rapper. Gibbs, however, isn’t average.
“When it comes to the nuts and bolts, the nitty gritty of this shit, flat-out spitting verse for verse,” he says. “Niggas ain’t on my level.” –Ronnie Reese, January 2014
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Pinata album drops March 18. They’re doing a few shows: just played Chicago & Denver, and they hit NYC, San Francisco and L.A. this month. Thanks to Jesse Lirola for the photos! Check out the T-shirt by Mason – we’ll have this here at Rappcats at the end of the month.
As they’ve done since 2010, the friends at Adult Swim are rolling out a compilation of previously unreleased music with its Summer Singles Program. Singles will include a new Madlib, Freddie Gibbs & Karriem Riggins collaboration as well as Captain Murphy & MF DOOM collab.
Madlib prepared this Carhartt Radio set that accompanies the Medicine Show Europe & Australia Tour 2012 with Freddie Gibbs, J Rocc. His mix features unreleased, unheard, and exclusive Madlib material in combination with some known stuff out of his musical universe. Photos by Egon: The crew landed yesterday and met the French magazine Modzik.
Egon’s second report from Madlib Medicine Show 2012 Europe Tour Five days between Czech Republic and Poland … Rappers and Krautrockers … vino & espionage … city zoos and Odd Futures … dead dog on floor with records …
It’s inevitable that five days off – even if they’re in “swinging” Berlin (or whatever adjective you wish to describe Europe’s new center for Americans to visit in hopes of the way things were in some bygone era) – aren’t going to pack the punch of an in-and-out-of-the-city show, but these five were especially weird. I start with the train we boarded in Prague – after again visiting a McDonalds and, myself, again restraining myself from eating some Eastern European Mc-whatever) – it was something out of Murder On The Orient Express and was certainly not the whimsical vision of such an archaic carriage as Wes Anderson imagined in The Darjeeling Limited. Note to anyone who’s expecting to save a few bucks on train travel that on a carrier that originates in Budapest: “comfort class” is about as acceptable as it gets. I so felt for the folks piled amongst each other in whatever they were calling “economy” – it made me imagine my father’s relayed memories of childhood train journeys in Kerala-state in India. At least the Czech porter in the dining car was relatively cold.
We arrived in Berlin in the midst of a heat wave: at 6 pm it was pushing 95F and sticky. We checked into our hotel on Warschauerstrasse – one of those trying-to-be-trendy-refurbished-warehouse or whatever – and Madlib and I both found ourselves fiddling with our rooms’ buttons and knobs that didn’t have any seeming purpose before we both found out the reason: nearly every hotel in Berlin (believe me, I checked) doesn’t have air conditioning. I went to apologize to Gibbs – he was on Skype with his manager Lambo and was sitting, shirtless, next to a fan. “It’s ok, man, we’ll make it work.” Damn, did I feel silly for expecting some new American standard of comfort a block away from the Berlin Wall in what used to be East Germany. Madlib and I were lucky enough to meet up with Whitefield Brother Max, whose studio was down the street from our hotel. One could do worse than spending a sweltering Berlin evening in a funky outdoor caf
Egon’s first report from Madlib Medicine Show 2012 Europe Tour … The show almost didn’t happen: Freddie’s on the plane, Madlib and I are attempting to talk our way onto the flight as the Lufthansa gate agents reject his passport as an “invalid travel document” when they won’t scan. Fair enough – he had washed it in a pair of jeans. But a pricey mistake – I’m just glad I always book the first flight with an extra day’s cushion. And also glad that we have a good relationship with a passport expediting agency located – of course – close to LAX. They held the office open until we arrived and assured us they would do their best, but it would be a miracle if we could fly the next day.
A rather sleepless night later (more so due to copious amounts of wine consumed at an impromptu dinner at Jeff Jank’s house than nerves), and I awoke at 7 am to hear that things were looking up at the Federal Building. We’d know by 3 pm.
3.30 pm and we were on our way back to LAX with news that the passport had arrived. Too bad that when we arrived we found that our flight had been delayed and we’d miss our connection to Prauge – and, thus, our slot at the festival. Freddie had already arrived.
As I’m thinking of how to call J.Rocc and what I would say to him to step up and DJ in Madlib’s stead, the gate agent suggested that if we flew via Munich we could arrive in Prague a bit after 8 pm. If we cleared customs quickly, we might make it in time for the 10.30 pm set time. Hip Hop Kemp is located in a small city about an hour and a half into the Czech countryside.
We took our chances, boarded the flight and, sixteen hours later, were picked up outside of the airport by, of all people, the head of IT at the airport – and an amateur race car driver. We loaded into his customized BMW M5. He switched on the active seat restraints in the front (and apologized to Madlib, in the back) and asked if we were scared of speed. No, of course not.
Then he proceeded to average 200 KMH through the narrow freeways, only stopping when a recently killed, six foot long wild boar’s corpse caused a minor traffic jam. “What would happen if we hit one of those things going this fast” I asked, as he accelerated? “Oh don’t worry, I normally only see those things in the forest.”
Uh, what about the one we just saw splayed out on the motorway? Madlib’s prog-rock mix CD – phasing in and out as the car’s nav system offered nearly-missed instructions – made the journey even scarier.
But, arrive we did. We headed straight on stage and line checked, and then, there they were: Madlib and Freddie doing what they do best, the former keeping it psychedelic, the latter rapping his ass off in front of what must have been 10,000 folks. Smoke machines going off. Freddie leading many who had no idea what he was saying in a chant of “fuck police” as Czech officers stood at the gates. “Shame” went over particularly well. J.Rocc filmed the proceedings and nodded in approval.
Later in the eve, on the way back to the hotel, we debated Lord Finesse’s lawsuit against Mac Miller with Diamond D and Freddie and Madlib wondered why Czech McDonalds don’t sell Chicken McNuggets but do sell McChicken sandwiches. Myself, I was glad I grabbed a couple bananas from the green room and still had one Europane cookie left over from my flight.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Shame EP follows where Thuggin’ left off: with Gibbs effectively spooling street stories onto the Beat Konducta’s wax. “Shame” featuring singer B.J. The Chicago Kid, is Gibbs’ honest appraisal of a one night stand; “Terrorist” is all killer, no filler – a short, terrifying rap offset by a cheeky fusion jazz sample. The Shame EP also contains vocals, instrumentals and two bonus beats. Artwork by Jeff Jank featuring an original illustration by Ashkahn.
Announcing: Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Thuggin’ EP, album in the works.
At Friday’s Madlib Medicine Show tour stop in San Francisco, the producer announced a collaborative project with the rapper Freddie Gibbs (photos here). Gibbs also debuted “Thuggin’” and “Deep,” from their debut EP. The 6-track record is released on Madlib’s Madlib Invazion label – the imprint the producer founded to release his 13 Madlib Medicine Show volumes. The duo’s as-of-yet untitled album is planned.
For Madlib, this marks another entry in an exciting series of collaborative albums that he has created with the likes of DOOM (Madvillainy), the late J Dilla (Jaylib) and Strong Arm Steady (In Search Of Stoney Jackson). For Gibbs, the album serves as somewhat of a departure: coming off the heels of his acclaimed Cold Day In Hell album, and before the release of the album he’s finishing for Young Jeezy’s CTE imprint, this project gives the Gary, Indiana-bred, LA-based rapper a chance to stretch out over the Beat Konducta’s lush musical tapestry. If the first single is any indication, this collaboration will find Gibbs’ rough raps landing atop smoldering soul and jagged psychedelia.
Created specially for Madlib’s Medicine Show Tour, late 2011 the Thuggin’ EP contains vocals, instrumentals and two bonus beats. Artwork by Jeff Jank features a dual A-side, “Madlib” embossed on one side, “Freddie Gibbs” on the flip.