Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata (1964)

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — March 22, 2014 | Comments (5)

1964 original issue (imaginary) by Jeff Jank

Pinata Alert – NYC

Rappcats — March 20, 2014 | Comments (1)

Update: That one went quick | New Yory City, March 20, 2:00PM EST – There is a zebra piñata hanging from a stop sign right around 90 Wythe in Brooklyn. It contains a pass to Freddie Gibb & Madlib’s NYC show on Saturday, candy, and other mysterious objects. First person to get there and beat the thing open gets to keep whatever falls out. Have fun, take a photo, and please clean up after yourself.

The album: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — March 17, 2014 | Comments (41)

In the shop: FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB – PINATA | iTunes: PIÑATA

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

The three EPs – vinyl & digital:
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Thuggin
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Shame
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Deeper



Freddie Gibbs photo by Peter Beste

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Pinata – on tour

Freddie Gibbs, Madlib — March 11, 2014 | Comments (9)

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.

March 22: New York, NY @ Gramercy Theatre
March 27: San Francisco, CA @ 103 Harriet
March 28: Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex

Madlib solo dates:

March 15: SXSW @ The North Day (Stones Throw Showcase)
March 21: Boston @ Middle East Downstairs
April 10: Ghent @ Vooruit
April 11: Milan at some festival or somethin’
April 17: Dublin @ Sugar Club
April 19: London – Soundcrash at Koko

Freddie solo dates up at freddiegibbs.com

Pinata Alert – CHICAGO

Rappcats — March 6, 2014 | Comments (1)

Update: zebra is toast | Chicago, March 6th, 4:40PM CST – There is a zebra piñata hanging from a monument in Grant Park by Columbia College near the corner of East 9th St & S. Michigan Ave. It contains four tickets to the Freddie Gibbs & Madlib show at Chicago’s Metro on Friday, March 7, and other mysterious objects. First person to get there and beat the piñata open gets the tickets and whatever else falls out. Have fun, take a photo, and please clean up after yourself.

The album: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

BADBADNOTGOOD – Can’t Leave The Night

BBNG — March 5, 2014 | Comments (1)

BADBADNOTGOOD are Mattew Tavares, Chester Hansen and Alex Sowinski from Toronto . We first heard them a few years ago, covering Madvillain & Doom’s “Supervillain Theme”, “Fazers” and “Vomitspit”. They’re signed to Innovative Leisure, and their new album III drops May 6. Here’s “Can’t Leave the Night” premiered this morning over at Fader.

Last year’s BBNG single: Flashing Lights | badbadnotgood.com

Pinata Alert – LOS ANGELES

Rappcats — March 3, 2014 | Comments (2)

Update with photo: the piñata got beat up at 2:25PM | Los Angeles, March 3rd, 2:10PM PST – There is a zebra piñata hanging from a tree on the west side of Echo Park Lake. It contains an advance copy of Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata album, candy, and other mysterious objects. There’s a stick on the ground below the piñata. First person to get there and beat the thing open gets to keep whatever falls out. Have fun, take a photo, and please clean up after yourself.

The album: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

Random: March 3rd

Madlib in Japan with Now-Again and a couple from Black Wax Digger.

Snoop Dogg – Cadillacs – prod. by Madlib

Madlib, Snoop Dogg — February 27, 2014 | Comments (11)

Snoop Dogg prod. by Madlib. “Cadillacs” is a track off the mixtape Thats My Work Vol. 3 hosted by DJ Drama, dropping at 4:20PM today, west coast time, February 27.

Quasimoto – Talkin Shit 45

Quasimoto — February 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

X-ray vinyl with “Planned Attack” b/w “Talkin’ Shit”

On the crime-infested east side of Lost Gates CA, there is a vinyl pressing plant whose brochure says, “will do anything for a price.” Back in the 70s & 80s, they specialized in private press porno soundtracks, but these days Madlib is their only customer.

Delivering them a couple Quasimoto tracks with a drawing or two, here’s the record they returned: a custom-shaped, half picture disc, half clear disc, with thick vinyl. One side is Quasimoto’s “Planned Attack” from the album Yessir Whatever, and the flip side is the previously unreleased “Talkin’ Shit,” a short track with Lord Quas doing what he does best. Both tracks are produced-by and featuring Madlib. Artwork by Jeff Jank.

Pictured below is the front, family-friendly side of the vinyl. The backside of the record, the “x-ray” portion, show’s Quasimoto disgusting insides.