Words By: Leon S.
- “Freddie Gordy”
- “F*ckin’ Up The Count”
- “Forever And A Day”
- “10 Times”
The musical climate isn’t fair, sometimes. On one hand, you see artists that drop one or two songs and suddenly are thrust into the mainstream spotlight prematurely. It’s always weird to watch those artists maneuver, because most of the time, you can tell they weren’t prepared for what it all entails. On the other hand, you see artists that work diligently and crank out consistent singles, mixtapes, projects, EPs, albums, etc… and it becomes harder and harder to justify why some artists are where they are, and why others aren’t.
In some cases, you can whittle down certain elements. Charles Hamilton got in his own way, literally. Mickey Factz – although consistent with his music – seems to be inconsistent as to what his angle should be (for instance, did you know there was a diss track on his latest project?), and that matters when presenting music to the masses. The examples we could pull from are literally endless, especially in today’s “social media” climate.
That being said, I have no idea why people continue to sleep on Freddie Gibbs.
It boggles my mind to see how much work he’s put in, musically, and how he’s still lurking right under the surface to quote-unquote “blow.” Maybe that’s not his goal, but consistent, quality music sometimes dictates where an artist lands, and Gibbs has been releasing great music for the past few years to critical acclaim…but not to the resounding overwhelming success that he deserves. Regardless of that, he continues on with his latest drop, Shadow of a Doubt, and it’s not hyperbole when I say it’s arguably one of the best projects to drop this year.
It’s been stated before that Gibbs’ music isn’t for everyone – and this could be a factor as to why that overwhelming success hasn’t hit like it should – but for the ones that need a rap fix laced with real life street narratives and authenticity, it’s here in abundance. For those that need more from their music, don’t worry because that’s present, too; Freddie’s leveled up his music making abilities since the last time we heard him, and there’s several underlying melodies that power the project forward, whether it’s him making the melodies as he raps (check the Bone Thugs/Do or Die flow he debuts early in “Careless”) or just the solid production on favorites like “F*ckin’ Up The Count” or “Freddie Gordy.”
There’s truly not a weak song in the package, outside of possibly (and ironically) “Packages” and “Basketball Wives”, which seems a bit forced in the lineup next to every other track here. However, for every flaw, Gibbs delivers on something else resoundingly. He tapped Black Thought to trade bars with on “Extradite” over some classic Hip-Hop instrumentation. He secured one of the smoothest verses I’ve heard in quite some time from Gucci Mane on “10 Times.” He completely blacked out on the aforementioned “Freddie Gordy.” He even surprised us with content via a semi-narrative on the verses for “Forever And A Day.”
There’s not much to hate here – although I’m sure people will try to nitpick this one to death as it bubbles more and more – and in a way, it’s relieving to see Freddie Gibbs continue to hone his craft. He’s done more than most independent artists can imagine, and the music hasn’t suffered in any aspect, even when he experiments with Autotune (works in “F**kin’ Up The Count” as background for the chorus, but not so much in “Basketball Wives”…). You’ll see more reviews for this project from other websites, because our “social music climate” dictates it, but regardless if those reviews put Gibbs on more than he is now, it wouldn’t matter. Gibbs told us in an earlier song his mindset:
“Player haters, f*ck ’em / record label, f*ck ’em / radio, f*ck ’em / my sh*t still be bumpin’…”
No need to switch it up now, right?
The REDEFINED Rating
4.5 out of 5