If you’re in LA tonight, I suggest you stop by On The Rox on 909 W. Sunset BLVD to catch the Freddie Gibbs and Pill show – two guys who are both making a lot of noise right now.
One of few 2009 mix tapes capable of rivaling Pill’s is “Midwestboxframecadillacmuzik,” recently released by the Atlien’s frequent collaborator and fellow On the Rox headliner, Freddie Gibbs, a former Interscope signee recently relocated to Los Angeles from his hometown of Gary, Ind. His vision of the Steel City is so poisoned as to make “Bleak House” look like “Full House,” a hell of internecine violence, chronic unemployment and a crack trade that flows like the Ganges.
An album masked as a mix tape, “Midwestboxframe” is the most impressive gangsta rap debut in years, and proof that the genre isn’t superannuated but rather filled with superfluities. Like his brethren Pill, Gibbs goes in on well-worn subjects (pimping, peddling and poverty), but demonstrates a poetic detail alien to most of his peers, describing Gary on his first mix tape, “The Miseducation of Freddie Gibbs” as a “land of lost hope / clouds of mill smoke / community devoured by hard and soft dope.”
His blunt-burned baritone and agile rap ability find him carving out a compromise between the screwed ride music of Houston heroes Pimp C and Z-Ro, the double-timed dizziness of Midwestern speed rap a la Bone Thugs and Twista, and the searing aorta-on-sleeve salvos of 2Pac. It’s unconscionable that Interscope would let a talent like this slip through the cracks — you won’t see a free agent this gifted until next summer when another Midwesterner from an economically depressed factory town becomes eligible.
I keep trying to tell you guys about Freddie.